Diya's Amazeum Adventure

July 27, 2021

Say hello to our marketing and communications intern Diya. Diya is spending part of her time at the Amazeum this summer documenting activities that ignite creativity, and curiosity. Follow along as she shares her Amazeum adventures. 

My Amazeum Experience

August 13, 2021

This summer, I had the opportunity to be the Scott Family Amazeum’s first high school intern outside of the Education team. With two younger sisters who love visiting the Amazeum, I already had some familiarity with the exhibits and ambiance of the museum. But throughout my Marketing and Communications Internship, I learned just how important the behind-the-scenes workings of the museum are. Whether it be photographing the summer campers, advertising on social media, writing blog posts, or even just interacting with daily guests, I got to experience the bustling, lively environment the Amazeum encompasses.

IMG 5465While experiencing the Amazeum through the teen lens, I was pleasantly surprised to see how my age group can benefit from what there is to offer. Through the screen printing workshop or building structures in the 3M Tinkering Hub, I have strengthened essential critical thinking, visual, and creative skills. Furthermore, the Amazeum has the potential to appeal to teens in an even greater capacity.

With the museum’s focus on the integration of arts and sciences, I truly believe that with more workshops like screen printing to participate in, teens can gain an abundance of meaningful learning experiences.

To further the influence of my teen outlook and expand the museum’s teenage appeal, we launched Amazeum’s TikTok account. Along with Digital Media and Marketing Coordinator Bailey Thompson, we compiled a list of audios and ideas for videos - ones that include museum guests, parents, interns, and summer campers. We are posting weekly and have crossed 60 followers so far. Starting off with a new social media platform, especially one that has a randomized algorithm, there was a lot to be thought through. Since TikTok has such a substantial influence on the media and teen culture, I thought this would be a great way to connect with audiences of my age group. Going forward, I hope that teens across Northwest Arkansas will continue to take advantage of the Amazeum experience.IMG 5463

With the museum’s focus on the integration of arts and sciences, I truly believe that with more workshops like screen printing to participate in, teens can gain an abundance of meaningful learning experiences.

As I wrap up my time at the Amazeum with newly acquired skills, a better understanding of the work environment, and a whole new set of experiences, I am so grateful for the support and guidance I have received from the welcoming staff and marketing team. As I move forward with my senior year of high school and soon take the steps towards my career, I know I will do so with the confidence and professional capabilities that have been further instilled in me throughout the past couple of months. This has genuinely been an experience to remember, and one I will carry with me through all my future endeavors.

Percept, Connect, Reflect

July 27, 2021

At the foundation of The Scott Family Amazeum lies creativity and self-discovery- two integral parts of the museum’s efforts to bring the Northwest Arkansas community together. Each exhibit, whether it be the 3m Tinkering hub, the art studio, or the Hershey’s lab, has something new to offer for everyone. To add to the Amazeum fun, coming soon is the Reflections Exhibit - a space for interactive learning and exploration like no other. 04 1 Walk into Kaleidoscope

The construction of Reflections marks the Amazeum’s first time building its own in-house exhibit. The exhibit will include about 10-16 different pieces that incorporate mirrors, kaleidoscopes, visual effects, and hands-on activities that engage people of all age groups. Exhibit Technician Shelby Fleming prototyped multiple pieces for Reflections and is excited to share the finished products with Amazeum guests. Shelby and the team of designers, fabricators, and envisioneers in the Amazeum fabrication shop expand on many different ideas and dig deeper into concepts to take each piece to the next level. “Something that we’re going to include is a walk-in kaleidoscope. It’ll be large and have an infinity effect, much like Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room,” she said. 

02 2 Interactive Infinity MirrorShelby said an important part of the thought process was to make the exhibit as interactive and inclusive as possible, so visitors of all abilities and backgrounds can benefit from the experience. 

They decided to implement the concept of an infinity room, but make it more immersive by involving props. The Infinity Lockers, one of the Reflections pieces, are a bunch of 12 by 12 cube-shaped lockers that you can put props in. Once you go to the front side, you can see the props go infinitely back. “It gives it another level of interaction besides just looking in a mirror. We deal with regular mirrors every day, but this exhibit makes you think about the optical things that happen with them,” she said. 

The incorporation of concave and convex mirrors is also going to be a substantial part of the Reflections exhibit. The mesh of the two creates interesting effects for guests to discover and interpret themselves. “When you stand in front of a whole array of concave and convex mirrors, you get some really cool effects. It takes a moment to really understand what’s going on, but it’s great for the self-discovery aspect,” she said.        03 1 Polyhedral Tunnel

With the exhibit still in development, Shelby and the team at the Amazeum fabrication shop are still working out how each piece connects with one another. They are playing with the overall composition and aesthetic of Reflections to make the exhibit an inclusive, exciting place for learning and discovery. “Overall, we’ve been thinking: how many interactions are just visual? How many are hands-on? The most important thing we’ve had to consider when we were building is how to accommodate for everyone mobility and height wise in order to make sure that a toddler can interact with the pieces the same way an adult can.” Shelby said. 

Since this is the first time an exhibit like this will be seen in Northwest Arkansas, Shelby said that Reflections will encourage a level of engagement that hasn’t been in the area before. “Learning more about optics and the science behind mirrors will really benefit the community. There will also be some great connections between this exhibit and Yayoi Kusama’s work that is currently shown in Crystal Bridges,” she said. 

06 2 Pin Wall Mirrors

Building and designing an exhibit like this one takes flexibility, a creative mindset, and lots of hard work. When speaking about her inspiration for Reflections, Shelby said that from a psychological standpoint, what inspired her to create this exhibit was thinking about how people interact with the world. “Mirrors are basically like a way of placing yourself in space. With this, children are exploring the world, but they’re also exploring themselves and how they interact with everything,” she said. 

Challenges in the 3M Tinkering Hub

July 13, 2021

All around us are structures - tall buildings, houses, stores, playgrounds. Behind each and every one of those structures took countless hours of work. But whether it be building legos or building skyscrapers, one of the most essential parts of the process is this: a big imagination.38CE144C DF34 48C9 A391 1890F3C87CF3 1 201 a

The Tinkering Hub at the Scott Family Amazeum offers plenty of unique opportunities for your imagination to be explored. This week, Tinkering Lead Alicia Jones introduced “Sticks and Bands”, an innovative, hands-on activity that utilizes artistic, scientific, and creative skills. The task was to build your own structure using wooden sticks, rubber bands, and of course, a brain full of ideas.

When I began this activity, I anticipated it to be quite simple. It only took me about twenty minutes to realize a task that seemed as straightforward as building a structure was a little more complicated than it seemed. Apart from the actual process of wrapping the bands around the sticks to create shapes in order to build a structure, what challenged me was the design aspect. How could I make my structure unique? Will it support weight? How big should it be? I then realized thatif I could visualize it, I could build it. After some time spent brainstorming and building, I managed to create a triangular structure with a square platform. Although it was small and simple, it was a product of my own imagination and creativity, which was the most exciting part of the process.

I realized that if I could visualize it, I could build it. 

An activity such as this one enhances skills that are beneficial for all ages and in all fields of work. Building, even if it’s just with sticks and rubber bands, IMG 5420strengthens motor control, visual and critical thinking skills, spatial awareness, and patience. In order to build any kind of structure, you have to be aware of what will and won’t work. I learned that problem solving and flexibility are key parts of the design and construction process. When I built something that didn’t end up functioning how I thought it would, I had to be flexible and readjust my design accordingly.

Lastly, I was able to explore a whole new realm of my creativity through building my structure. In an age where technology continues to dominate most fields of creation - I was reminded of the importance of relying on my hands, my brain, and my imagination - which is all it really takes to create something amazing.


Adventures in Screen Printing

July 1, 2021

When you get dressed in the morning, have you ever wondered who designed the cool graphic on your shirt? How was the shirt made? How was it designed? The fun visuals, cartoon characters, creative logos, slogans - a lot of it is done by screen printing. Screen printing is the process of ink being pressed through a stenciled mesh screen and transferred onto a flat surface to create a printed design. The technique has been around for hundreds of years and is used by a wide range of industries for a wide range of purposes. Apart from creating clothing designs, screen printing can be used for poster printing and artwork on canvases, paper, wood, or even metal. Although this process is not an exact science, screen printing is a complex art form that requires attention to detail, patience, and most importantly, creativity. IMG 2191

Maxi Dominguez, the founder of the creative platform La Rosa Collective, inspired creativity in teens at a screen printing workshop held at the Scott Family Amazeum. During this workshop, Dominguez emphasized the importance of imagination during the design aspect of the screen printing process. I joined a  group of teens in the workshop with Maxi and was introduced to Inkscape, a free graphics software, to create our own designs. We discovered how to use basic tools, build on ideas, and expand our boundaries as artists and creators with no limitations. 

I’ve always loved painting, drawing, collaging, arts and crafts, and a plethora of other mediums to channel my artistic mindset.

After some time was spent exploring Inkscape and its possibilities, Dominguez walked through the actual process of screen printing. He demonstrated how to prepare the mesh screen and with the help of a volunteer, coated the screen in a light-sensitive emulsion. The design was laid onto the screen and exposed to a bright light, which hardened the emulsion. After about twenty minutes, the screen was rinsed, dried, and ready for use. 

IMG 2207Lastly, we got a little taste of the screen printing world for ourselves. Using previously made stencils, we screen printed on blank tote bags using professional-grade printing presses, ink, and squeegees. During this part of the process, the tote bag was laid underneath the screen and flat on the printing board. Once the screen was lowered on top of the board, the squeegee was used to pull ink from the top end of the screen to the bottom end of the screen. This imprinted the design onto the tote bag. The tote bag was then dried and the process was repeated until the desired design was achieved. We printed shapes, logos, and slogans to design our own abstract creation. 

Art has been a big part of my life since I was a kid. I’ve always loved painting, drawing, collaging, arts and crafts, and a plethora of other mediums to channel my artistic mindset. However, screen printing and graphic design were art forms I had very little exposure to before. It was such a unique experience to get to utilize my artistic capabilities in a way I had never done before. Now that I’ve had a little experience post this workshop, I will definitely be jumping at the next opportunity to explore more of the digital art and design field.

As I participated in this screen printing workshop at the Amazeum, I learned the importance of thinking outside the box, paying attention to details, and letting my creative juices flow. Ultimately, the most essential part of graphic design and screen printing is to have fun and see where your imagination takes you. With little to no limits, the possibilities are endless.

About Diya

Diya headshotHi! My name is Diya Nambiar and I am a rising senior at Bentonville West High School. This summer, I am working with the Scott Family Amazeum as a Marketing and Communications Intern. I am so excited for this opportunity to strengthen my skills and contribute to the behind-the-scenes aspect of the Amazeum. This internship gives me the chance to work with the incredible staff and marketing team, but also to build a foundation for my future career. I am so grateful for this experience and excited to see where it will take me!