Harness pickle power

Written by on July 9, 2014 in Featured - No comments

The Electrified Pickle launches this weekend with “Power This!,” a variety of hands-on exercises designed to help participants grasp the building blocks of innovation. – Photo courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland


Photo courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland


Photo courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland

“This is the first time we’ve ever done something like this,” says Ilene Dackman-Alon, education director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, just north of Little Italy at 15 Lloyd St.

It might be the first time anyone has “done something like this.”

Dackman-Alon is talking about “The Electrified Pickle,” and exhibit/event/interactive experience running from July 13 through Aug. 15 at the museum. The four Sundays during that period—July 13, July 20, July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10—are filled with activities focusing on technology, from electricity to aerodynamics to encryption.

“The idea is that, as much technology we use, we’re very divorced from it,” says Rachel Kassman, development and marketing manager for the museum. “We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.”

The Jewish Museum hopes to change that. On Sunday, July 13, The Electrified Pickle opens with a series of activities centered on electricity and conductivity. Attendees may electrify pickles, experiment on potatoes, while learning about Girl Power and Empowerment through partnerships with local Girl Scouts and local universities with Societies of Women in Engineering.

Also on Sunday is the free Electrified Pickle Community Kick-off Party, 5-7 p.m. The evening begins with an Extreme Jean Science Show, and culminates in a community art project with Mosaic Makers, in which residents will create mosaics to decorate a building the museum has recently acquired at 5 Lloyd St.

Sunday Electrified Pickle events cost the price of admission to the museum, $8 for non-members.

“It’s cheaper than taking your family to the movies,” says Kassman.

Print, aerodynamics, robotics and code are the focal points of subsequent Sundays.

Dackman-Alon said that The Electrified Pickle is meant to serve three purposes—to showcase technology innovations connected to Jewish Marylanders, to collaborate with like minded organizations such as the National Electronics Museum, and to engage the community in the free arts project.

“It’s all about collaborators,” says Dackman-Alon. “We find our programs are better when two heads come together and create something awesome.”
One of those collaborators is Dr. David Hatch, who on Aug. 10 will give a talk about Jewish code breakers and the role they played before and during World War II.

The Electrified Pickle is by no means limited to Jewish people, says Dackman-Alon.

“It’s for everybody and anybody,” she said. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest from retired engineers, and they’ll be some of our volunteers.”

“A lot of what we do is about the history of the area,” adds Kassman. “I think that once you come in, you’ll see that this really is a fun place and good for everybody.”

For more information, visit jewishmuseummd.org and click on “Events.”

by Erik Zygmont

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