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Lab manager Juliann Chavez, center, meets with education partners in the Explore More Life lab. She recently was awarded a community engagement award from Miami University.

Discovery Place lab manager Juliann Chavez, a graduate student in the Global Field Program (GFP) from Miami University's Project Dragonfly, has been awarded a Community Engagement badge from the university for making a difference in human and ecological communities.

As part of the GFP, students like Chavez apply the tools of conservation science and advance the tenets central to the master's degree: inquiry, community and voice.

Through her conservation science and community course project entitled "Charlotte Creeks: Mapping the Health of Reedy Creek," Juliann created awareness for the health of Reedy Creek by involving the community in the restoration.

As part of her master's program coursework, she studied desert and marine ecosystems on the Baja peninsula and rainforest ecosystems in Costa Rica. Study sites include 13 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

The GFP master's degree is designed for educators and other professionals from all disciplines and settings who are interested in working collaboratively to bring about change in local and global contexts.

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From rocket launches to fossil records, Discovery Place Summer Camps are offering a host of new and exciting subjects for kids to explore.

Summer Camps are back! We’ve got several new and exciting topics we’ll be exploring this year, from Natural Wonders to Paleohistory to Sounds of Summer.

This summer’s featured exhibition is Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World, and I hope campers are ready to rock with our brand new camp, Sounds of Summer. It’s an introduction to all things audio, both natural and manmade, for rising 4th and 5th graders. Audiophiles will explore the exhibition, study and tinker with instrument making and learn about sound waves, vibration and more during this week-long camp.

Our 3- and 4-year-old campers have a special session all to themselves June 8 - 10, right before the bigger kids are out of school. There’s nothing more fun for little hands than building! Little Builders is the perfect camp for budding architects, engineers and demolition experts, and we’ll be working with a wide range of materials as we construct towers as tall as we can reach.

Our oldest campers will get the chance to study solar and stellar astronomy, physics and the space program’s fascinating history in Rocket Scientists. Rising 6th-8th graders will dig into the theoretical and look towards our future in the cosmos amid rocket launches here at the Museum.

For those fascinated with our own planet, Natural Wonders is an excellent fit. Get an overview of life and natural phenomena on Earth as rising 4th and 5th graders study biomes, ecosystems, geological formations, weather and everything under the Sun.

Have a rising 2nd or 3rd grader who loved our Paleontologists camp? New this year is Paleohistory, the study of the deep and rich past before mankind began recording history. From dinosaurs to plant formations to the fossil record, we’ll be digging in to our prehistoric planet.

I’ve gotten to watch our campers’ fascination with science as they are growing up, and I cannot wait to see what my fourth summer brings.

Camps are filling fast, so sign up today. See you in June!

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Dianne Chipps Bailey, vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Discovery Place, and Charlotte Ballet's Jordan Leeper will perform Saturday, March 7, in Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte. Dianne is dancing to raise money for the Museum's new Welcome program, which provides low-cost access to families with EBT or WIC cards.

Dianne Chipps Bailey, vice chair of the Board of Trustees for Discovery Place, is setting aside her fear of dancing to raise money for the Museum's new Welcome program.

Dianne will perform Saturday, March 7, in Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte, Charlotte Ballet's annual gala. The fundraiser pairs local celebrities with the professional dancers of Charlotte Ballet to raise funds for the ballet company and for each local celebrity's chosen charity.

Launched in December, the Welcome program provides low-cost access to families with EBT or WIC cards. Parents or caregivers who present their benefits card at Admissions may visit Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum or Discovery Place KIDS for just $1 per person. In its first six weeks, the program opened the Museum's doors to 4,000 children.

Dianne is an attorney with Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. Her practice is dedicated to the representation of nonprofit organizations, their senior management and volunteer leaders. She has represented schools and universities, churches and other religious organizations, endowments, supporting organizations, corporate and family foundations, museums, business leagues, trade organizations, social clubs (including fraternal organizations) and many other charitable groups. She regularly writes and speaks nationally and has been engaged as an expert witness on nonprofit law in state and federal litigation matters, providing strategic counsel and trial testimony.

Dianne is dancing with Jordan Leeper, who has spent four seasons with Charlotte Ballet. He has performed and trained with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet School, the New York State Summer School of Arts, San Francisco Ballet School and the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Before accepting the Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte challenge, Dianne last danced the "prom sway" at her wedding.

Want to support the Welcome program and help Dianne and Jordan beat the competition?

Click here to buy tickets or make a donation to Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte.

Each dollar, whether it is part of a sponsorship, ticket or donation, equals one vote. All donations will be split evenly between Charlotte Ballet and Discovery Place's Welcome program.

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Bosch's support made it possible for 10 teachers to attend two professional development programs in the Museum and at Discovery Place Education Studio.

We would like to extend a BIG thank you to Bosch Global and Bosch Community Fund for sponsoring our Explore More Stuff robotics lab this month.

Throughout January, Museum visitors have been able to move motors, flash lights and make sounds all by connecting inputs to outputs. Self-guided activity stations allowed them to learn about the communication between an information processing system (like a computer) and the outside world, such as a human or another information processing system. Then they could take their new-found knowledge and manipulate computer code to make an electromechanical creation.

Bosch's support also made it possible for 10 teachers to join us for two professional development programs in the Museum and at Discovery Place Education Studio.

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Rizzo, Remy, Templeton, Splinter and Fievel are the newest rat-letes for Discovery Place.

Thank you to everyone who voted on names for our new rat basketball players!

Based on your input, here is the starting lineup for your Discovery Place Rat Basketball team:

1. Rizzo
2. Remy
3. Templeton
4. Splinter
5. Fievel

Our "rat-letes" are ready to hit the court to start training hard for their Museum debut later this year.

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Rat Basketball is coming back to Discovery Place!

Discovery Place is bringing Rat Basketball back to Charlotte!

Help us name our "rat-letes" by voting for your top five favorite names.

Voting ends Monday, January 12.

Click here to cast your vote.

The new team will be announced next week on Facebook.

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