Gallant Sons Of Erin – Free Concert @ Torrington Historical Society March 22

On March 22 at 7 pm the Torrington Historical Society is hosting a free concert featuring the Gallant Sons of Erin at Founders Hall Auditorium at Northwestern Community College located on Park Place East in Winsted. Participants will enjoy authentic Irish – American Music of the Civil War era and hear many tunes that have not been played publically in more than a century.

During the period of the American Civil War, songs started to emerge that reflected the Irish experience in terms of this conflict. Many believe that these ballads and their lyrics form part of an Irish cultural diaspora in mid.-nineteenth century America. They reveal what the war meant to the Irish involved and the impact this participation had on the relationship between the Irish, American and their identity in the 1860s.

The Gallant Sons were born out of a mutual interest in not only the sound of traditional and composed mid-nineteenth century American music, but its origins, impact, and value as a historical resource. In their roles as living historians, the Gallant Sons research and present the lives and culture of Irish-American immigrants of the American Civil War era. Their groundbreaking CD, “No Irish Need Apply” contains 14 selections drawn from the Civil War era. Many of these songs have never before been recorded by any artist. The Gallant Sons live performances are a mixture of high energy, emotion, stories, reflection, tribute, and remembrance. Audiences are treated not only to the history of the music but to the music as history.

New *Star* attraction @ Stepping Stones Museum for Children

A new, space-themed exhibition has opened at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk. A collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network), the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition will be on display at Stepping Stones in 2019 as part of a nationwide effort designed to engage audiences in the awe-inspiring fields of Earth and space science.

Packed with engaging, hands-on interactive exhibits and dazzling imagery, this 600-square-foot exhibition will connect visitors with current NASA science research and launch them on a journey to explore the universe! How is Earth changing? What is it like on other planets? Does life exist beyond Earth? What’s happening on the Sun, and how does it affect us? Sun, Earth, Universe is a new exhibition about our planet, the solar system, and the universe, and the big questions NASA is trying to answer about each.

Sun, Earth, Universe includes fun and compelling exhibits for visitors of all ages. Follow the design-build-test cycle of engineering and build a model spacecraft for your own mission to space. Spin a tumbler of 10,000 beads, representing all of the stars we can see from Earth to search for the unique one that represents our Sun. Reveal hidden images using the same tools NASA scientists employ to explore the otherwise invisible forces and energy of the universe. Take a break in the seating area and play the Your Mission to Space board game, or help younger visitors pilot rovers across the Mars landscape play table. These fun experiences (and many more!) introduce visitors to ongoing NASA research in the fields of heliophysics, Earth science, planetary science, and astrophysics, and encourage them to imagine what the future of Earth and space science might hold.

Many panels on the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition provide question prompts and a link to explorescience.org/sun. This companion website features NASA video footage and mobile-friendly interactives that provide visitors opportunity to investigate themes further on their mobile devices while at the museum or at home using their mobile device.

“First and foremost, Stepping Stones is extremely honored to be chosen as one of the 52 institutions across the country that will be displaying this awesome exhibition during the course of the next year!” said Brian Morrissey, Director of Exhibits. “Many children are fascinated with outer space, but this exhibit isn’t just for those who are space enthusiasts. Sun, Earth, Universe provides great opportunities to experience the world of aerospace and beyond, allows for moments of hands-on exploration and shared discovery among family members and will, perhaps, inspire interest in Earth and space sciences.”

“Stepping Stones is excited to host this exhibit because it aligns perfectly with our commitment to broaden and enrich the educational opportunities of children and to enhance their understanding of the world, and in the case, beyond,” Morrissey said.

The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition was created through a project led by Arizona State University, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition was developed by a team led by the Science Museum of Minnesota, and fifty-two copies will be fabricated and distributed nationwide by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network). Exhibitions will be delivered between fall 2018 and summer 2019 and then will be on display at museums across the country over the next several years.

The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition is free with paid admission to Stepping Stones. For more information, visit http://www.steppingstonesmusuem.org/seu.

Acknowledgement

The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition was developed in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sun, Earth, Universe exhibitions are developed and distributed nationwide by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network).

This material is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AC67A and 80NSSC18M0061. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

About Stepping Stones Museum for Children

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are: Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. Get social with Stepping Stones on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About the NISE Network

The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) is a national community of informal educators and scientists dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of current science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
http://nisenet.org/about

Audubon Sharon hosts MapleFest along with Maple Bake Sale

Audubon Sharon will be holding its annual MapleFest on Saturday, March 16 between 11am and 4 pm at the Sharon Audubon Center, Route 4, Sharon, CT. On-going guided 45-minute tours will lead visitors through the Center’s sugaring operation, including a working sugarhouse and a re-creation of Native American and early colonial sugaring methods.

Participants can watch as pure sugar maple sap is collected from the trees and turned into delicious maple syrup. Admission for the event is $6.00 adults and $4.00 children (2 and under free.) Wear warm clothes and boots, as much of the tour is outdoors.

Fresh, homemade maple baked goods and coffee will also be available for purchase during the day as part of the Maple Bake Sale. Each treat will be made with the Center’s very own maple syrup! Fresh syrup will be available for purchase while supplies last, as well as locally made maple candy, maple cream and maple sugar.

For more information on MapleFest or the Audubon Sharon sugaring operation, contact the Audubon Center at (860) 364-0520, visit www.sharon.audubon.org, or like us on Facebook.

Maple Syrup -How Sweet It Is -Lamothe Family Farm

The Lamothe family started farming in 1971 with a few pigs, a vegetable garden and seven taps for maple syrup. As requests grew for this amber elixir so did the number of taps and the size of the operation. Today, Lamothe’s Sugar House is the largest maple sugar producer in Connecticut with more than 4,000 taps and a state of the art sugar house located in Burlington Connecticut.

More than 15 miles of plastic tubing installed and cared for by the Lamothe family help to gather the sap. From there the sap is pumped into a tank onto their truck and brought back to the sugar house to be boiled and processed into maple syrup.

A new showroom offers not only amazing syrup but a multitude of products made from the sap from spice rubs and candy to kettle corn and maple-coated nuts. There are so many intriguing items to purchase both sweet and savory and farm fresh. Items can also be purchased online, but a visit to the store is a rewardingly sweet day out!

Lamothe’s Sugar Housee offers tours and demonstrations to show people how Maple Syrup is made on Saturdays and Sundays during February and March. Tours are from 1 to 4:30 PM, and last about 20 to 30 minutes. The showroom is open year-round, Monday – Thursday 10 am – 6 pm, Frid. – Sat. 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 12 noon – 5 pm.

Maple Sugaring @ Institute for American Indian Studies March 9

Driving through the Litchfield Hills in March you can’t help but notice the network of plastic tubes and buckets that collect sap from maple trees. The sugaring off process resulting in the golden deliciousness we know as maple syrup has a long history in New England. The timing for sugaring is critical and only happens once a year because when the maple trees start to bud, the sap becomes bitter. Today collecting and boiling down sap is a labor-intensive process even with all the advantages of modern technology. Native Americans were experts at collecting the sap and boiling it down using the most basic techniques and materials collected from the environment that they lived in. They found many uses for maple syrup from making medicine taste better and sweetening food to using it as a preservative.

Historic records indicate that the collecting and processing of maple sap was a social as well as a working occasion. Women would tap the trees; men would cut the wood for the fire needed to boil the sap, and children tended to the sap as it boiled. The Maple Sugar Festival at the Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington, Connecticut is the perfect event for learning, socializing, and celebrating maple sugar as the first sign of spring. The Maple Sugar Festival will be held this year on March 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Institute. Visitors are invited to join the staff along with nationally recognized Primitive Technologists, Jeff and Judy Kalin in the outdoor Algonquian Village for an afternoon celebrating the gift of maple syrup.

The Kalins will demonstrate the traditional technique of collecting sap using only stone and wooden tools. Stone was used because pottery or wood containers alone would not have been able to withstand the direct heat. The key to how water was evaporated from the sap using only natural means will be a highlight of the Kalin’s demonstration. They will also talk about the importance of maple sugar to the diet of Native Americans as well as its usefulness as an item of trade.

An added sweet bonus of this event is the “made from scratch” pancakes served up with local maple syrup, coffee, and orange juice. The Maple Syrup Demonstration is noon – 3 pm., the Pancake Brunch is 11 am – 2 pm and children’s activities are 11:30 am – 2:30 pm. The cost is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, children are $10 and members of the museum $5.

About Primitive Technologies

PTI has built nearly 200 aboriginal structures both free standing and congregated in villages using only the tools and practices of the time such as stone axes, flaked hand tools, and fire. In his work, Jeff Kalin, owner of PTI uses only primitive tools that he has made himself.

PTI has created the village at the American Indian Archeological Institute in the style of the Eastern Woodland Indians. This reconstructed village was created to look, as it would have in the 16th century prior to European contact. There are several wigwams and a longhouse in the village. The structures are covered in thatch or bark.

Mr. Kalin is recognized as an expert in stone tool replication and is a consultant to museum curators and archeologists in the analysis of artifacts. He has constructed prehistoric sets for filmmakers and his wood-fired replica pottery hand built from river clay is in private and public collections

About The Institute for American Indian Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Through archaeology, the IAIS is able to build new understandings of the world and history of Native Americans, the focus is on stewardship and preservation. This is achieved through workshops, special events, and education for students of all ages.

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS has an outdoor Three Sisters and Healing Plants Gardens as well as a replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village. Inside the museum, authentic artifacts are displayed in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary exhibits from prehistory to the present that allows visitors a walk through time.

The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut and can be reached online or by calling 860-868-0518.

Maple Sugaring Festival Weekend in Stamford

Once again this year the Stamford Museum and Nature Center is hosting the 8th annual Maple Sugar Festival in their new Maple Sugar House and Farmhouse from 11 am to 3 pm on March 9 and 10.  Join staff as they make their own line of maple syrup from the 200+ mature maple trees found here on our 118-acre facility. They are just one of only two official maple sugar producers in Fairfield County! 

Guests are invited to the Farmhouse Sunday Pancake Brunch for stacks of hot off the griddle pancakes drizzled with warm “maple gold” made right at the Nature Center.  Guest will also enjoy a host of fun family activities including face painting, arts and crafts, live music, and of course a visit to the Center’s Heckscher Farm animals and Heckscher’s WILD creatures! 

Another highlight of this event is to sample a delectable array of original Maple Sugar-inspired treats prepared by talented aspiring chefs at our Teen Chef Challenge on Saturday in the Farmhouse – and vote for your favorite!  And, don’t forget to purchase the freshly tapped Stamford Museum & Nature Center maple syrup that can be enjoyed long after this event is over.

The cost of this event is $6 for members and $12 per person for non-members; the farmhouse pancake brunch on Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm is an additional $6 per person.