by Desteny Alvarez, age 17
It is a science tourism attraction, and it’s right here in Wisconsin!
Among its many tourism destinations, eastern Wisconsin is home to a National Maritime Sanctuary along Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shoreline. This area includes the cities of Manitowoc, Port Washington, and Sheboygan.
Back in 2008, a report by the Wisconsin Historical Society encouraged study of the mid-Lake Michigan region (covering about 875 square miles of Lake Michigan). It designated the area to be studied by maritime specialists. This meant the region quickly became a premier site for science and technology education.
by Anissa Attidekou, age 12
The Boaz mastodon is a fossil of a mastodon discovered near Boaz, Wisconsin in 1897. A mastodon is an elephant but harrier. A spear made of stone found near the Boaz mastodon shows that humans once hunted the mastodon. They lived in North America, Asia, and Africa, during the Ice Age. During the last Ice Age, many giants like the mastodon and mammoth roamed Wisconsin.
The fossil of the great mastodon is on display at the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum in Madison. For a long period of time, the mastodon was thought to be a complete individual, but in 2015 it was discovered after much research that two bones from the so-called Boaz mastodon were conjoined together with bones from a different individual. The University of Wisconsin Geology also found a very old handwritten note stating that this might not be a mastodon at all, but a mammoth. After two long years of research it was clear. The Boaz mastodon was a combination of two different animals.
The Boaz mastodon was named after a small village in Richland County. Where young boys found the fossil of the Boaz mastodon in 1897. It was reassembled by scientists later on in 1915. The Boaz mastodon was later named in honor of the boy's village Boaz Wisconsin.
by Eleanor Pleasnick, age 13
Most people know that there are ruins of ancient cities and towns all over the world. Even Wisconsin has them, and Aztalan is one of the most famous ancient sites in our state. Aztalan is also the largest historical site in Wisconsin.
You can find the ancient remains of Aztalan, which is now a Wisconsin State Park, about 30 miles east of Madison and approximately 50 miles west of Milwaukee. This area, now known as the northernmost tip of land that was occupied by the ancient Mississipians, is close to both the small town of Lake Mills and the Crawfish River.
The Middle Mississippian people originally migrated to Aztalan around 1100 A.D. Archeologists have found many cultural remains in the area. By studying the evidence, archeologists believe that people migrated to Aztalan from a large Mississippian city called Cahokia, located in an area that is now Illinois. The remains at Cahokia and at Aztalan show many similarities, which has led archaeologists to make this connection.
Free Press Reporters Journey Through Layers of Japanese Culture at the Chazen’s “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” Exhibit
by Hugo Gonzalez Koop, age 17 and Sharon Ruiz, age 14
Rulers of Japan for almost 700 years, the Samurai warriors established an impressive legacy, one that continues to astound many to this day. Recently, SSFP staff and students had the opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Samurai warriors at the Chazen Museum of Art’s stunning “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” exhibit.
Supported in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the State of Wisconsin, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kikkoman Foods Foundation, Inc., the exhibit is one we anticipated for weeks. Organized by Contemporanea Progetti SRL with the Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy, it boasts a collection of more than 90 items from important collections of Japanese arms and armor from areas surrounding Japan. [read more]
In Storage at the Driftless Historium & Mount Horeb Area Historical Society: The Telephone Through the Ages
by Cristian Cruz, age 15 and Valeria Moreno Lopez, age 10
In the 21st century, the world is at our fingertips. Smartphones provide the answers to any question imaginable in just a few seconds. These pocket-sized devices also allow users to connect with others almost anytime, anywhere. Yet while we may take them for granted, smartphones didn’t always exist: inventors worked through decades of design to bring us the modern phone we have today.
This is exactly what Simpson Street Free Press students learned while at the Driftless Historium & Mount Horeb Area Historical Society. On a tour of the fantastic new Historium, our guide Johnna Buysse showed us the museum’s main storage space, which sits a floor above its main exhibits. [read more]
Simpson Street Students Explore Decades of Local History at the New Driftless Historium & Mount Horeb Area Historical Society
by Jospeha Da Costa, age 12 and Abigail Luna, age 15
We met at our South Towne newsroom early one Wednesday morning—most of us with droopy eyes and tired faces. It was early, but we were excited for the day’s adventure: we were headed westward toward Mount Horeb to visit the village’s new Driftless Historium & Mount Horeb Area Historical Society.
The Driftless Historium is kind of new. It opened on June 3, 2017. Located in the heart of Mt. Horeb, the space has a served a number of purposes over the years, from bowling alley to restaurant and hardware store to hotel. Today, it is a unique cultural destination with exhibits that explore the history of Mt. Horeb and surrounding areas of western Dane County. [read more]
Henry Vilas Zoo’s Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit Boasts Three Badgers, State Pride
by Kadjata Bah, age 12
A new exhibit recently opened to the public at Henry Vilas Zoo. The exhibit celebrates Wisconsin history and the creatures who are the face behind it all—badgers.
Hoping to celebrate our state and its rich culture, Dane County officials, Henry Vilas Zoo, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison sought to raise funds to build a better home for the zoo’s badgers. Fundraising efforts ultimately collected the required $650,000 to build what is now the Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit, which replaced the original exhibit that was first built in the 1990s. George and Pam Hamel of California-based Hamel Family Wines, two UW alums themselves, donated $125,000 to the project too. [read more]
Recent Wisconsin Museum Series Articles
It is a science tourism attraction, and it’s right here in Wisconsin!
Among its many tourism destinations, eastern Wisconsin is home to a National Maritime Sanctuary along Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shoreline. This area includes the cities of Manitowoc, Port Washington, and Sheboygan. [read more...]
The Boaz mastodon is a fossil of a mastodon discovered near Boaz, Wisconsin in 1897. A mastodon is an elephant but harrier. A spear made of stone found near the Boaz mastodon shows that humans once hunted the mastodon. They lived in North America, Asia, and Africa, during the Ice Age. During the last Ice Age, many giants like the mastodon and mammoth roamed Wisconsin. [read more...]
Otis Ray Redding Jr., known as the “voice of soul music,¨ was born on September 9, 1941, in Dawson, Georgia. Little did Redding know how great an impact he would make, and how far-reaching his legacy would become, in the world of music. [read more...]
Looking for fun activities to do this summer? The Lussier Family Heritage Center may have just what you are looking for! [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press always has its eyes open for interesting museum exhibitions, and now the Overture Center is about to open a showcase, “Phoenix from the Ashes,” in the Playhouse Gallery running from September sixth through October 27th. [read more...]
Following the death of George Floyd and other killings of unarmed black people, artists in the Madison community came together to show their allegiance and solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. Their allyship was demonstrated through a series of murals, which lined State Street. These murals were painted on long, wooden boards that covered the windows of shops and other buildings from the State Capitol to Library Mall. [read more...]
On a warm Sunday this summer, my family and I went camping for three nights in Pattison State Park in Superior, Wisconsin to celebrate my birthday. This state park has the highest waterfall in Wisconsin, Big Manitou Falls, which is 165 feet tall. The park sits on 1,476 acres of land. [read more...]
Donald Park in the southern part of Dane County is one of the most beloved natural areas in Wisconsin. But this beautiful place wouldn't be possible without the help of two visionary women, who not only donated the land but worked tirelessly to make it available to the public.
The women established the 800-acre park in 1993. It is not just a fun place to enjoy outdoor activities, but it also holds a lot of history and memories. Some ancient artifacts dated back 13,000 years ago, have been located at Donald Park. [read more...]
Again this year student reporters from Simpson Street Free Press
will attend the nation’s largest High-Powered Rocket Competition for Native American college students. [read more...]
For years, science education has been an important part of the Simpson Street Free Press curriculum – so has museum trips. Recently, I joined other teen editors for a wonderful weekend in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where we attended the annual Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Conference and the famous Pump House Regional Arts Center. [read more...]
One hot day this summer, Deney, Sarah, Josepha, drove all the way from the Free Press newsroom off West Broadway to Appleton, Wisconsin, ready to learn about space and geology. We embarked on this journey to attend the annual Wisconsin Space Grant Conference, titled “Uncharted Lands: Geology and Space.” While we were in the city, we visited the Weis Earth Science Museum to learn about fossils, rocks, and minerals. [read more...]
The Ringling Brothers Circus was one of the best circuses ever, and it all began right in Baraboo, Wisconsin! [read more...]
In the 21st century, the world is at our fingertips. Smartphones provide the answers to any question imaginable in just a few seconds. These pocket-sized devices also allow users to connect with others almost anytime, anywhere. Yet while we may take them for granted, smartphones didn’t always exist: inventors worked through decades of design to bring us the modern phone we have today. [read more...]
Recently, a sandbox was installed at the Henry Vilas Zoo. But it’s not just any sandbox. It is an Augmented Reality (AR) sandbox that simulates topographic features and water systems to teach people about watersheds. The Dane County Land and Water Resources Department and the Henry Vilas Zoo partnered to construct this educational model for all ages to view.
is a piece of land that drains precipitation into a body of water. The exhibit at Vilas will help citizens of Madison understand how watersheds work. The model also aims to make viewers more aware of where water goes when it runs off their yards and driveways into storm drains, lakes, and streams. [read more...]
Rulers of Japan for almost 700 years, the Samurai warriors established an impressive legacy, one that continues to astound many to this day. Recently, SSFP staff and students had the opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Samurai warriors at the Chazen Museum of Art’s stunning “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” exhibit. [read more...]
A new exhibit recently opened to the public at Henry Vilas Zoo. The exhibit celebrates Wisconsin history and the creatures who are the face behind it all—badgers. [read more...]
We met at our South Towne newsroom early one Wednesday morning—most of us with droopy eyes and tired faces. It was early, but we were excited for the day’s adventure: we were headed westward toward Mount Horeb to visit the village’s new Driftless Historium & Mount Horeb Area Historical Society. [read more...]
Imagine a wall. On it is painted a destructive sea with a mountainous tree in the middle. Grimy pollution litters the tree’s roots. Also featured are small white human and animal silhouettes. Elegant flowers gild treetops. Behind these designs are two worlds—human and natural—that depict antagonistic relationships. This wall, these images are more than just fantasy; in fact, this is a real mural that Japanese artist Ikeda Manabu has worked on for the past three years at the Chazen Museum of Art. [read more...]
Recently, some of SSFP's teen editors including Enjoyiana, Diamond, Dija, Sylvan, Jackie, and Leila gathered at the Chazen Museum of Art to view an exhibit on 20th Century sculpture. Our wonderful volunteer editor Jane Coleman planned the outing. Mary Brennan, a friend of the Free Press, greeted us as we entered; an experienced docent, Mary acted as our guide. As we walked up the stairs to the exhibit, Mary provided us with a little background. [read more...]
Katrin Brendemuehl, age 13 and Callan Bird Bear, age 12
The gorgeous artwork crafted by Native American tribes known as beadwork can be as intricate as the wings of a dragonfly. The allure of colorful glass beads against a dark, rich fabric is enough to catch nearly anyone’s eye. This fall, the James Watrous Gallery, a gallery at the Overture Center with a focus on contemporary Wisconsin artists, features these culturally significant, powerful works. [read more...]
Recently, friend of the Free Press and valued volunteer, Jane Coleman, surprised a group of Free Press reporters with a field trip to the Japanese wood block exhibit at the Chazen Museum of Art. The group of us—including Diamond, Dija, James, Christy, Felicia, Ruthanne, and our editors Taylor and Aarushi—met at the South Towne newsroom where Jane gave us a briefing. Jane explained that Dr. Gene Phillips, professor of Japanese Art, had generously agreed to take us into the “floating world.” He would be acting as a docent, or a volunteer guide, for us. Excited, we grabbed our freshly sharpened pencils, notepads, and camera. We piled into two cars and crossed the isthmus. [read more...]
Fans of Shakespeare, buckle up! The first folio, a printed collection of William Shakespeare’s work dating back to 1623, is coming to Madison. [read more...]
Every state treasures a legend, a story on which its reputation is built. Pennsylvania has Big Foot, Kentucky has a “portal to hell,” and Wisconsin has…underwater pyramids? Legend states that at the bottom of Rock Lake, a fishing hole east of Madison in the town of Lake Mills, lies ancient pyramids, a 200-foot-long figure made of rock, and ruins. [read more...]
Bringing together over 60 local artists, Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) hosted its third annual “Creating for a Cause” art fair earlier this month. [read more...]
Recently, Simpson Street Free Press reporters ventured out of the City of Madison to Hubertus, WI. Excited and a little nervous, we headed out of the office on a horseback riding mission. We were a little uncertain about the weather, but we were determined to have an unforgettable field trip. [read more...]
A small, once dirt-poor Mexican village now hosts one of the largest concentrations of modern artists in the world. In fact, for the 1,200 residents of Mata Ortiz, high-quality ceramics have become more than an expression of culture—they have become a way of life. [read more...]
During a recent tour of the newly expanded Aldo Leopold Nature Center, executive director Camille Zanoni shared some alarming data with Free Press student writers. Zanoni said that children spend only one percent of their time outside. This directly correlates with a rise in childhood obesity, depression, ADD/ADHD, and cardiovascular problems. [read more...]
When Free Press reporters decided to check out the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, I was thrilled. As a consistent museum goer, I am impressed by the Chazen’s vast art collection and recent building expansion. [read more...]
On a recent trip to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCa) a group of Simpson Street Free Press reporters, including me, visited the exhibit Los Grandes Del Arte Moderno Mexicano. This exhibit features seven accomplished Mexican artists who greatly influenced Mexican Modernism. The works of Diego Rivera, a famous muralist, particularly caught my attention. [read more...]
At 9 AM sharp on a sunny August morning, staff writers Selin, Rosalinda, Nancy, Patricia and I met with our editors Adaeze and Aarushi at the Free Press office. We were ready to hit the road to tour historic southwestern Wisconsin. [read more...]
Recently, Simpson Street Free Press writers took a trip to southwestern Wisconsin to visit historic sights. We wanted to see Stonefield Village in Cassville. Once there, we met Dale Moore who has worked there for 12 years. Mr. Moore was the perfect tour guide. [read more...]
On a hot August day, a team of Free Press reporters and I decided to visit the Platteville Mining Museum. When we entered the museum, a very friendly staff person greeted us and gave us a brief introduction to the museum and its history. [read more...]
One of our favorite museums opens again on Memorial Day. Last fall, fellow teen editor Taylor Kilgore and I had the opportunity to visit La Crosse. [read more...]
Recently, a group of Simpson Street Free Press reporters and I took a trip to the UW Madison’s L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum located in Chamberlin Hall. The museum featured hands-on physics demonstrations that appeal to young and old audiences alike. The exhibits were fascinating, and really grabbed our attention. We knew right away that this was a story we wanted to cover. The experiments that take place here explain physics in a way that even a younger child can understand. It is a place of exploration and discovery. [read more...]
Recently, fellow reporters Rosalinda, Patricia, Alexis, Aarushi, Claire and I visited a museum rich in ancient fossils and animal artifacts. Unlike other museums, this one was located cozily between the kitchen and living room of David Wandel’s house. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt, ruled a land that was powerful, glamorous, and full of life. It’s no wonder that Roman emperor Octavian wanted to steal Egypt for himself. [read more...]
Early on a Saturday Morning, fellow Free Press teen editor Annie Shao and I set out for the Milwaukee Public Museum. It was a nice day and this was a trip we were looking forward to very much. The exhibit we wanted to see is called, “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” We loved it. The exhibit transported us back to Cleopatra’s world to fully understand her life and death. [read more...]
The Madison Children’s Museum recently received the 2011 National Medal for Museum and Library Services. It is the most prestigious award for libraries and museums, and is parallel to the Pulitzer Prize for journalists. This makes it a much-coveted honor. Each year, there are only five museums and five libraries honored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). [read more...]
The date was February 1, 1960. The place was Woolworth’s restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina. It all started when four college freshmen, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, entered the “whites only” Greensboro Woolworth’s and sat down at the lunch counter. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press reporters love road trips. They’re fun, educational, and we often come back with great stories for our newspaper. One of our recent road trips brought us to another remarkable place. When we got there, we found ourselves up-close and personal with a slice of Wisconsin’s past. [read more...]
When we think of schools today, we generally think of large buildings filled with hundreds of students. On a recent visit to a one-room school house, we were reminded there was a time when schools were not so populous. We spent the day learning what it was like to attend the Old Halfway Prairie School House, a school that was founded in 1848. Now it’s a museum. Our gracious hosts were Darlene Grover, a former student and her teacher, Cleo Brockman. [read more...]
On a recent Saturday morning fellow Free Press writer Pallav Regmi and I, along with one of our editors, visited the Madison Children’s Museum. This museum is located in downtown Madison. At the museum, there are a variety of exhibits where visitors can learn, have fun, and interact with their families. [read more...]
At the Simpson Street Free Press, we always say it pay to explore. Books, science, history or space—it pays to explore. So after our recent trip to Mount Horeb to photograph trolls, we decided to head up highway 78 toward Black Earth and Cross Plains. [read more...]
We awoke early on a cool and misty morning. We wanted to get an early start and prepare for the events about to unfold. Pencils, check; notebooks, check; business cards, check; clipboards, check; bundle of our latest newspapers, check.
We were ready. [read more...]
The city of Burlington, nestled in Southeastern Wisconsin, has been known as Chocolate City, U.S.A. for 44 years. In 1966, Nestle opened a factory in the city to supply the increasing demand for its products in the Midwest. The city quickly embraced its new company. It adopted the sweet new nickname along with a new city mascot, Morsel the Moose. [read more...]
In a recent readers’ poll conducted at www.simpsonstreetfreepress.org, our loyal audience decided they wanted us to visit a chocolate museum. So, we awoke bright and early one morning to begin our two-hour journey to the Chocolate Experience Museum in “Chocolate City, USA”: Burlington, Wisconsin. [read more...]
This summer the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art will host a new exhibit featuring artists from around Wisconsin. This exhibition, the 2010 Wisconsin Triennial, will be the twelfth time the museum has organized a survey of contemporary art from our state. [read more...]
The Wisconsin Historical Museum has been honoring Senator Gaylord Nelson. One current exhibit is entitled Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day: The Making of the Modern Environmental Movement. Through newspaper clippings, pictures, and stories, visitors are able to explore Nelson’s fascinating life and see how he became a leading figure in the fight against environmental and social injustice. [read more...]
For most students, the word “museum” invokes images of large, cold buildings with imposing paintings and a few ceramic sculptures. But reporters from the Simpson Street Free Press recently visited Dr. Evermor’s Sculpture Park and gained an entirely new perspective on museums and art. [read more...]