While you may not think of the Maria Mitchell Association as a virtual place given the nature of what we do, we actually do have some things online to offer you.
The first ongoing activity is the Science Festival. An annual event that attracts over 400 children and families each year and co-sponsored with the Nantucket Community School, the Science Festival still ran with at-home activities. And while the prize period of it may be over, there are still a huge list if activities created by the MMA, NCS, and all of our island partners who work with us on the Science Festival so take a look! We will also be showcasing some “Pop-Up Science” demonstrations on Instagram as well.
Links to various astronomy-related livestreams, videos, and other interesting information can be found on our Facebook page. The MMA astronomer, Regina Jorgenson, is regularly interviewed by WCAI for its “Looking Skyward” piece and that can also be found as a link on the MMA’s Facebook page and on WCAI’s website.
A fan of birding and the natural sciences? Take a look at the listing of our extensive 100+ year old natural science collections, read up on some interesting information about our harbors and on information concerning Nantucket’s geologic development, mammals, trees and shrubs and more. Some of these publications are rare, out-of-print, and quite old- but they are still incredibly relevant and frankly, just plain interesting. Don’t know much about our island? This is the time to learn! And then, reinforce it by getting outside – while maintaining social distance – which is easy to do with our hundreds upon hundreds of acres of beaches and conservation land.
And of course, even the Mitchell House has a little something. We have a great “For Students” section of our website where you can find a Maria Mitchell timeline – that anyone can take a look at, not just students – a bibliography for further reading (and you can get many online), and several lesson plans with everything right online. The lesson plans are for various ages and can be used to help you and your child wrap up Women’s History Month or begin your celebration of women’s right to vote – the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment is this year!
I keep mentioning Facebook. Even if you are not a Facebook user/member, you can still open these links on the MMA’s Facebook page.
And while our doors may be physically closed, they are not virtually closed. Staff continues to work remotely. Astronomical research is still being completed, plans for our still hoped-for Maria Mitchell Women of Science Symposium in October still go forward, animals in the Hinchman House Natural Science Museum still await their meals every day and their water changes of their tanks, Clementine the Lobster still awaits some fish or mussels for her dinner, planning for summer events and classes still go on with the hope that maybe we will be back to normal sooner rather than later. And, we offer you a myriad of information and activities on our website and social media platforms.
And one further note, please remember that non-profits are also going to suffer in this. Consider what they provide to you and your family and remember that museums and other non-profits need your continued support – they are here for you now and will be once this is over. After all, Clementine and her friends still need to eat – crisis or not – telescope time for research still needs to be paid for, buildings still need a small level of heat to keep things from freezing and staff needs to be able to meet virtually. All of this still costs non-profits, including the MMA. Thank you.