Saturday, March 31, 2012

Get Ready for a New Museum

A new museum will be opening in Raleigh some time in April. I don't mean the much-anticipated Nature Research Center extension of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (although that's going to be way awesome 24-hour celebration on April 20th). I'm talking about a Museum of Garbage Trucks and it's going to open sometime next week (I guess) right in our house.

M's got this idea from somewhere that he wanted to open a museum. And since garbage and garbage trucks are his new passion, that's what the museum is all about. Now, unfortunately, it is not going to be one of those fancy interactive exhibits. When I explained to M the meaning of the word "interactive", he nixed the idea of having hordes of visitors playing with his garbage trucks.

These past few days he's been busy taking tons of pictures of his garbage truck collection, of various pieces of garbage, of garbage bins (real and toy ones), etc. He's also been working (with some help from me) on a giant poster that shows garbage trucks happily collecting trash and bringing it to a landfill. The poster is so big that we are now having hard time figuring out where to hang it (since all the available walls already have something or other on them, like planet stickers).
We conducted an experiment to figure out how much trash we generate in a day. Turns out, that we are pretty average, but since most of our trash comes from kitchen scraps and most of those can be composted (which we do), we end up actually throwing out very little. 

He's been studying a picture from an old issue of Wired magazine that shows some kind of plasma-enhanced garbage melter. He's been talking almost non-stop about recycling and noticing the "recycling" sign everywhere he goes. 

Inspired by this YouTube video, he recently built a recycling facility and a SMART station out of building blocks. M even made a custom snowboard for me (what gave him the idea that I snowboard?) with the Waste Management symbol on it. Seriously!

Does it sound like a cool museum or what? Once it's open, I'll give you a virtual tour (unless you are in town and want to visit; the admission is free in keeping with Raleigh's other great museums).


  1. Wow! What a great project with so many wonderful layers/elements. This is my favorite kind of learning to read about -- where the kid (or classroom) gets interested in something and then it becomes a cohesive, engaging project.

  2. It is getting better and better and there's a lot of math in it as it turned out :) So I might write about the math side of it over at

  3. Can't wait to read about it! :)

  4. This is a pretty impressive museum and formidable collection of garbage trucks! Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!