Welcome Gabrielle Heggeman, Visitor Services Intern

I am happy to welcome Gabrielle Heggeman to our team as a Visitor Services Intern! You might see Gabrielle during your winter visit, asking you how she can help make your visit better or interacting with our young visitors. If you see her with a clipboard, Gabrielle is probably in the midst of observing how exhibits are used and enjoyed. Her internship will focus on visitor services and evaluation, and she will contribute to our ongoing assessment of museum exhibits and practices. We are always looking for ways to become better and are happy to have Gabrielle to help us along!

We asked Gabrielle a little bit about herself and why she’s excited about her internship:

Gabrielle in We Are Maine

“I’m currently working towards my bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Southern Maine. I’ll graduate in May, then continue for my master’s degree in Education. I hope to become an elementary school teacher once my master’s degree is completed. When I’m not at school, my job, or my internship at the Museum & Theatre, I enjoy spending time with my three sisters, my parents, friends and my lab, Porkchop. With this internship, I’m looking forward to watching children discover new things and seeing how they interact with one another. Being around children is something that I’ve always enjoyed. When I heard there was an opportunity to intern at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, I knew it was where I wanted to be!”

Taking it home: Painting to Music

This is an activity we love doing here at the Museum & Theatre. Painting to Music teaches kids about lines, painting and tempos. It’s great to see how the paintings change when we switch from a fast song to a slow song. Try it at home with different kinds of music, paints and brushes.


  • Paint
  • Paper
  • Brushes, big and small
  • CD player or radio

Look around you, there are lines everywhere! Not all lines are the same. Some lines are fast and others slow, some feel quiet and some feel loud. Some are big and bold, others small and delicate. Like people, lines can have feeling or mood!

Today you can explore this by painting lines. To get you into this mode, you’ll be painting to music! The types of lines you make should depend on the type of sounds you’re hearing. The music is the boss right now, so listen carefully and paint what the music feels like. Maybe it’s fast and loud music so the lines will be bold and plentiful. What if it’s soft and quiet music, will your lines be the same? Think about how fast you move your hand. Think about color. Bright and happy or gray and sad?  Try listening to different types of songs or radio stations. What kind of lines can you create?


  • Line directions- Horizontal, Vertical, Diagonal
  • Line “families”- Straight, Curved, Angled
  • Line width- Thick, Thin
  • Line Length- Short, Long, Dashed, Dotted

Auction 2010 Preview!

Are you ready for the most exciting event of the year? The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine’s Annual Auction will be held on Friday, March 26th at the Holiday Inn by the Bay and will feature hundreds of items and packages for adults and children alike!

Check out one of our latest and greatest Live Auction items: a Rhapsody indoor playset, the latest innovative design from CedarWorks! CedarWorks Rhapsody playsets are all made from ash and birch, which make them strong and durable while still remaining smooth and attractive.

For more information about the 2010 Auction and to find out how you can take home this stunning playset, contact Alicia at alicia@kitetails.org.

Even more whale watchers!

The final post of all our excited whale watchers. If you haven’t found the answer to What About Whales? then visit the Museum & Theatre to learn and discover!

To see even more pictures (yes, there are TONS more) from the exhibit opening, visit our Facebook fan page. While you’re there, you can become a fan of Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine and get up-to-date information on all things museum, theatre and kid related!

What About Whales? swims into the Museum & Theatre

Lobtailing, breaches and flukes abounded last night at the exhibit opening party for What About Whales?. We had over 150 guests, some delicious krill and tours of the exhibit, including a dramatic lowering of Istar, our life-sized inflatable whale! The night was a big hit with our member and volunteer families. We would like to thank Cakes Extraordinaire, Harbor Fish Market, Shaw’s Supermarkets and Yosaku for their generous donations of whale-worthy treats.

Here are tons of excited little whale watchers exploring the new exhibit.

More pictures in the next TWO posts!

Brain Power: Studying Young Minds and How to Teach Them

The Museum & Theatre is always filled with children under five learning and discovering through our exhibits and activities. It is exciting to see the power of play grow stronger as research progresses! In this New York Times article, Benedict Carey explores new research in the development of children before the age of 5. For the better part of the last century, educators believed,

that children could not learn math at all before the age of five, that their brains simply were not ready.

However, researchers and educators are finding that young children are able to learn simple math through play and math based activities. Click here to read the full article.

Search “Key Bank” in our Calendar of Events to find programs like Smart Shopping and This Little Piggy Saves, which offer math based play with practical applications.

Dinosaurs make way for Whales!

Anyone who has visited us in the last week can tell that something BIG is coming to our Big Gallery! The Dinotracks! exhibit is officially extinct, and the Exhibits team has been working behind the scenes for months to prepare our next original exhibit, What About Whales?

This week, that work has moved from the design shop to the first floor as this exhibit takes shape. Dozens of games, signs, props, electronics and other components are being installed. Take a peek at a few photos of the exhibit in progress, and see if you can guess which piece is which!  See the comments for answers.

1. Vertebrae from a whale’s back          2. Baleen from a real whale

3.  Dock for whale watching      4.  Build-a-Whale game

Our members will be the first to explore the whole exhibit at a private opening event on Thursday evening (reason #548 to become a member!). What About Whales? will open to the public on Friday, January 22nd at 10am.

Welcome Hannah Wilhelm, Visitor Guide

I am very excited to welcome Hannah Wilhelm as the newest member of the education staff!  Hannah graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2005 with a degree in chemistry.  During college, Hannah worked as an assistant laboratory coordinator in a physics lab, tutored peers in chemistry, and served as an intern at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.  Since graduating, Hannah has worked at a variety of environmental education centers in PA and ME.  Last year she was a Maine Conservation Corps Environmental Educator working with the Department of Environmental Protection.  Hannah has a kind heart, a keen intellect and a passion for sharing her love of science with children and families.  She joins a talented and committed group of colleagues.  I’m confident that our Museum & Theatre members and visitors will be as excited about working with her as I am!

Hannah in the Ranger Station

Silly Science at CMTM

Making slime
Making slime

‘Sizzle….bubble….and pop’ were popular sounds and actions as our junior scientists met for a silly and slimy summer camp last week at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. We made varieties of slimes from household materials. We turned liquids and solids into each other and experimented with gasses.We even turned our hands into paws and had relay races to study animal adaptations. Our mini explosions are over and our ‘science lab’ is now slime free, but the Silly Science campers now have some neat (and gooey) knowledge to hold on to.

-Louisa Donelson, Camp Leader