More than 50 years old and 8,500 members strong, the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) strives to promote percussion through education, research, and performances across the world. To carry out this mission, the organization includes more than 50 chapters in the US and 28 chapters abroad, all of which communicate online via resources such as lessons, free practice exercises, and annual events. Each year PAS hosts the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention—the largest of its kind in the world—in which exhibitors convene to showcase the newest developments in percussion technology, instruments, and publications. The convention also includes over 120 clinics and performances with lauded artists covering all genres and styles of music.
Crafted by a cognitive scientist and a design team from the University of Washington according to state academic standards, the A4L program includes five units that merge traditional literacy-education techniques with activities such as theater exercises to accommodate different learning styles. The program anchors lessons in familiar stories such as The Three Little Pigs, with the goal of raising student achievement in both reading and writing. After participating in the A4L lessons, students have shown increased enjoyment in reading, as well as improvement in reading ability, which teachers report appeals to students of various reading levels and backgrounds. Each student will receive a copy of the book from their particular A4L program and an accompanying workbook.
Once home to the celebrated Hoosier poet, the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home welcomes visitors into a world of stunning turn-of-the-century splendor. The elegant Victorian revival house hosts informative tours that guide guests through the home of the man who gave the world Little Orphan Annie and the Raggedy Man.
Catering to the growing minds of toddlers as well as preteens, kidscommons features three floors of interactive exhibits that introduce basic scientific concepts and kindle creativity. The Gateway Bridge Laser Harp, for example, allows visitors to invent a catchy melody using an instrument made without traditional strings. Meanwhile, a human-sized robotic arm lets kids control a mechanical shoulder, elbow, wrist, and fingers while attempting to perform simple tasks. In addition to a 17-foot climbing wall, the museum hosts a small aquarium that mimics the micro-ecosystem of Indiana creeks and waterways, complete with fish, Hoosier mermaids, and other aquatic lifeforms.
Named one of the 50 Reasons to Love Bloomington by Bloom magazine and one of the nation's top 25 science centers by Parents magazine, WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology invites visitors of all ages to discover how exhilarating science can be. Between a two-story interior and an outdoor WonderGarden, the museum flaunts more than 50 hands-on science activities. A range of exhibits bring youngsters face-to-face with scientific principles in such attractions as the two-story Grapevine Climber climbing maze, the Bubble-Airium’s cloudball machine, and Water Works' ball launcher. Over in the Fitzgerald Hall of Natural Science, live amphibians and insects crawl around settings that mimic their natural habitats. For children aged 6 and younger, the George & Evelyn Brabson Discovery Garden grants youthful scientific inquiry through live animal displays, the Magnet Wall, and a tree house. The museum also hosts regular special events.
1930 was a watershed year in the effort to preserve Indiana's state history. For starters, it was the year Julia Meek Gaar donated her personal effects to the Wayne County, Indiana Historical Society. That would have been enough to celebrate on its own, but then the Whitewater Monthly Meeting of Friends donated their historical Friends Meeting House as well. In the decades following those two gifts, local residents have filled out the Wayne County Historical Museum's exhibition halls with their own contributions, both small and large. When viewed together, these gifts paint a vivid picture of Wayne County from the pioneer era through contemporary times.
The museum itself consists of eight buildings, the most impressive of which is a log schoolhouse built in the early 19th century. These buildings house hundreds of artifacts from the museum's permanent collection, including everything from a 3,000-year-old mummy to a restored 1922 Pilot Speedster. More vintage rides grace the museum lawn during cruise-ins?just one example of the many events held here throughout the year. Others include a heritage festival and a haunted-house night, during which the aforementioned mummy comes to life and stalks visitors.