Miami Children’s Museum has a new permanent exhibit, “My Green Home,” designed to educate children and their families about energy efficiency (sun, wind, water) in and around a modern-style house. It opened to the public Aug. 1.
The 300-square-foot exhibit, designed by New York-based Lee Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, sports a roof wind turbine, insulation, infrared camera (a monitor shows kids the heat being released from their own bodies) and a mockup of an electric car, which children can charge to learn about battery power and distances. The exhibit also focuses on the use of recyclable and renewable materials.
“My Green Home” replaces a previous exhibit that identified various architectural styles.
“This exhibit is about things being built smart. It’s better for kids to see a house of the future instead of the past,” said Lucia Williams, director of Museum Experiences. “Although this exhibit is small, it’s chock-full of information, and serves as a launch pad for teachers and guardians to start speaking with their children about green energy.
Williams said the museum is also offering “green programming” to complement the exhibit.
“We’ve been having children build solar ovens to bake chocolate chip cookies as well as teaching kids about how common materials such as jeans and bamboo can be recycled and reused. It’s relevant and doable.”
In addition, the museum has retrofitted its own facility to become greener. Most of the building’s interior lighting has been replaced with energy-efficient LED lights; a 1 ½ inch-thick roof coating — featuring foam used in freezer insulation — has been installed, and the museum’s new exterior paint contains an insulating additive.
According to Williams, these changes have helped the museum save about $40,000 in electricity costs during the past year.
Funding for the retrofitting and the My Green Home exhibit was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Miami Children’s Museum plans to install solar panels on its roof in the future, and a panel in My Green Home will monitor the amount of energy being harnessed.
The Museum is at 980 MacArthur Causeway, on Watson Island. Regular admission costs $14 for Florida adults and children ($18 for nonresidents). The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For details, call 305-373-5437 or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org.
AUGUST IN WYNWOOD
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar concludes its summer “Dining Around the World” series this month with a celebration of cuisine from Portugal. Executive chef Miguel Aguilar (who’s 40-ish and hails from Venezuela) featured food from Spain in June and Germany in July.
Portuguese delicacies will be offered for lunch and dinner on Wednesdays during August. A la carte dishes include: bacalao croquettes ($9); stewed chick peas ($12); seafood stew ($18); a suggested white wine pairing (from Portugal, of course) is $9 (glass), $35 (bottle).
Diners can also select from Aguilar’s regular a la carte menu of Global-Latino small plates and a selection of craft cocktails.
AT CANYON RANCH
As part of Miami Spa Month, Canyon Ranch’s Integrative Medicine Center is offering an 80-minute Healing Energy session with energy healer and physical therapist Michelle Alva for $129 (regularly $250). Open to the public, it includes aromatherapy, massage, bodywork and sound healing while lying on a bed of amethyst crystals — as well as use of the Aquavana Spa Facilities.
“This focused therapy clears the energy field, seeks to align body, mind and spirit and can have a powerful impact on restoring personal balance as well as releasing physical and emotional stress and tension,” said Alva ( www.michellealva.com). “My intention is to facilitate major healing with minor effort.”
For full details about Miami Spa Month at Canyon Ranch (through Aug. 31), visit alturl.com/2yaqg. Canyon Ranch is at 6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. For an appointment with Alva, speak with a program advisor at 305-514-7326.
Lotus House Shelter is hosting a Back to School Drive competition through Aug. 31. More than 45 Lotus House guests are school-age, and need supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, markers, backpacks, uniforms, belts, socks, gym shoes and laptops for the 2014-15 school year.
Those who wish to help can register online (groups or individuals), or set up collection boxes at their area community centers, workplaces, schools, gyms or places of worship. Financial donations are welcome, too.
The group or individual bringing in the most items before Sept. 1 will be recognized online ( www.lotushouse.org) and through social media. Lotus House is at 1514 NW Second Ave., Miami. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions? Call Azra or Virginia at 305-438-0556.