Amgueddfa Blog

Hi Bulb Buddies, 

Thank you for all the data you’ve been entering to the website. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments you have shared with the weather data. Thank you for all of your messages and I hope that you are enjoying the project. 

Lots of you have shared that your plants have started to grow! That’s fantastic news. Please take photos of your plants and share these with me over Twitter or email.

Exciting comments about your plants growing:

Albert Primary School: The temperature changed throughout the week and there was a lot of rain. We think the bulbs may be starting to sprout.

Carnbroe Primary School: The plants are growing well.

Sandal Magna Community Academy: Some of our plants have started to grow leaves.

Ysgol Bro Pedr: A lovely dry week, apart from Friday. Our daffodil bulbs are starting to grow - exciting

High Cross Primary School: Hi professor plant the class’s plants are growing quite fast.

Hendredenny Park Primary: Hello, we can see little sprouts in our pots. There was no dead fly’s this week but there was a little bit of dirt .Bye

Hendredenny Park Primary: Some plant have started to sprout out of the soil.

High Cross Primary School: Hi professor plant the class’s plants are growing quite fast.

Comments about the weather:

Ysgol Ysbyty Ifan: Glaw trwm iawn a llifogydd yng Ngogledd Lloegr ddoe. Ond nid mor ddrwg yma. Pawb yn sgubo dail yr Hydref oddi ar yr iard ddoe a heddiw am ei bod yn oerach. Bl 3 a 4 wedi casglu'r afalau oddi ar ein coeden 5 Kilo! Tarten wysnos nesa! Athro’r Ardd: Da iawn Cyfeillion y Gwanwyn. Rydych wedi bod yn brysur!

Ferryside V.C.P School: Roedd y tywydd wythnos hon yn heulog ac yn oer. Dim ond 4ml o law a nowsweithu oer.

Arkholme Primary School: We had a lot of rainfall this Thursday, Maisie and I really enjoyed collecting the data this week. Unfortunately Mr Bonwick's Plant pot got knocked over, not much sign of any growth. Professor Plant: I’m sorry to hear one of your pots was kicked over! I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project though.

Saint Anthony's Primary School: The temperature gradually decreased until Friday when it dropped sharply. Professor Plant: Gosh bulb buddies, a drop from 8 to -2 in temperature!

St Fergus' Primary School: It has been very windy, cold and stormy this week.

Darran Park Primary: We've lots and lots of rain. Today we had hail stones at lunch time. It feels very cold in the wind.

Sanquhar Primary School: Thursday night we had snow so Friday morning reading it had melted.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: A wet week and very cold! They are saying snow flurries next week.

Pil Primary School: Rained a lot in Pyle this week.

Arkholme Primary School: This week we noticed that it was quite cold also there was not much rain fall ether.

Bursar Primary Academy: We had 130ml of rain on Monday, 124ml on Thursday. Lincolnshire has had a large amount of rain.

St Fergus' Primary School: The flower beds and pots look tidier but there are still more leaves to be cleared. It was a mix of weather this week with some rain at the beginning of the week and then got colder at the end of the week. The frost stayed most of the day today (Friday).

Ysgol Bro Pedr: What a beautiful end to the week. Much better than the damp miserable weather at the start.

Oldfleet Primary School: Warmer all week but lots of wet play times

Stoneferry Primary School: Another rain-filled week!

Georgetown Primary (Tredegar): There was snow on Wednesday night from about 7.30pm. When we got up on Thursday everything was white. It started to rain and the snow cleared.

Arkholme Primary School: We have noticed that on Monday there was a very high rainfall. We had 3 very frosty nights at the start of the week. We have really enjoyed taking the reading.

Aberdare Park Primary School: We had a fall of snow on overnight on Wednesday. This turned to sleet early Thursday morning and then rain.

Darran Park Primary: We had some snow on Wednesday evening. It was really cold.

Henllys CIW Primary: The temperature stayed fairly consistent and the rain was weird due to the fact that it was wet on Monday, getting dryer and dryer until Thursday when it rained really hard and then all the way back to zero.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: What a week of heavy rain and we experienced the chill factor also - starting to get cold!

Ysgol Bro Pedr: A mixture of all weathers this week - snow, sunshine, rain, frost, hailstones, wind!!!

Hudson Road Primary School: It felt chilly this week and cold. On Friday it was very rainy and it is supposed to snow!

Bardney Primary School: Rain fall on Friday 8th was actually 23mm but no option from drop down box. Rounded to the nearest 10. Professor Plant: Well done Bulb Buddies, that’s exactly what you need to do. Keep up the good work

Clifton Primary School: This is the first year we have been involved in the bulb project and we have really enjoyed our first week! On Thursday/Friday, Hull had an awful lot of rain which made measuring the rainfall quite interesting. We're looking forward to seeing everyone's results.

Bryncoch CiW Primary School: We have rounded the rainfall to the nearest 10mm

Professor Plant: Well done Bulb Buddies, that’s exactly what you need to do. Keep up the good work

Dalbeattie Primary School: On one day there was lots of drizzle but the next rainfall reading did not show anything other than a few droplets. Presumably, during the 24 hour period between readings, some of the water had evaporated out of the rain gauge? ProfessorPlant: That’s right Bulb Buddies.

Darran Park Primary: We have noticed that the temperature is getting colder.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Hello its Riley. We have planted all our bulbs and have been observing the rainfall and temperature this week - hardly any rain and we have said it’s getting colder - goodbye and have a nice weekend - Regards Riley

Stoneferry Primary School: Massive amount of rainfall this week - bulbs have had a lot of water. Children loved inputting the data with the teacher.

New Abbey Primary School: We have had a very cold, frosty but bright later on start to the week. However, today has warmer but with non-stop rain all day!

General comments:

Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant (Llanelli): Helo Athro rydym yn mwynhau gofalu am y bylbiau. Diolch am anfon y bylbiau atom ni. Faint o ysgolion sy'n cymryd rhan? Pryd ydych chi'n credu bydd y bylbiau yn agor? Ni'n gyffrous iawn i weld y blodau! Athro’r Ardd: Helo Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant, diolch am eich cyfraniad i’r prosiect. Mae 175 o ysgolion yn cymryd rhan yn yr ymholiad. Mae’n werth gwylio eich planhigion yn agos o hyn ymlaen, fel byddech yn gweld pryd maen nhw yn blodeuo.

Ysgol Gymraeg Caerffili: Plant wedi mwynhau cofnodi'r tywydd ac wedi cofio ei wneud pob dydd. Athro’r Ardd: Da iawn Cyfellion y Gwanwyn! Rwy'n falch o glywed eich bod yn mwynhau'r prosiect.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: This week it was really cold but we went to the science centre on Thursday. We feel like scientists when we do this and send this to you. Professor Plant: Fantastic Our Lady of Peace Primary. You are super scientists, thank you for helping me with this experiment.

Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos: We measured the temperature and rainfall in the morning on Friday because we are going out this afternoon with our class to go carol singing in the community centre. Sorry that we haven't done it at the right time. Professor Plant: Thank you for entering your data Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos. I hope you enjoyed carol singing.

Fleet Wood Lane Primary School: It is hard to keep the rythm going after a couple of weeks. Professor Plant: Keep at Fleet Wood Lane Primary, you are doing a fantastic job. Your plants should be starting to grow soon!

St Fergus' Primary School: On Monday and Tuesday it was very frosty all day long. The rainfall was high on Wednesday and the temperature went up on Thursday. There was lots of leaves on the ground, tomorrow we will clear the leaves from the flower beds and pots. Professor Plant: Fantastic work Bulb Buddies.

Maesgwyn Special School: I enjoyed collecting the data this week. Professor Plant: I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies.

Saint Anthony's Primary School: We forgot to do it on Wednesday and Thursday but we have set an alarm on Miss Harley's phone so we don't forget. Professor Plant: Good idea Bulb Buddies!

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: Sorry we sent our data late we couldn't log in to the computer because are teacher was not in class. Professor Plant: Thank you for entering your data Bulb Buddies, fantastic work.

Llanedeyrn Primary School: Thank you for sending us the bulbs. Professor Plant: You are welcome, thank you for taking part in the project.

Llanedeyrn Primary School: We are really enjoying this investigation. Professor Plant: I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies.

Litchard Primary School: I'm enjoying the responsibility taking the temperature every day. Professor Plant: Thank you for taking part and I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project.

High Cross Primary School: I what to see if professor plant is liking the data we’ve been sending. Professor Plant: Thank you very much for your data High Cross Primary. Fantastic work Bulb Buddies.

Ysgol San Sior: This was fun. Professor Plant: I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies.

Maesgwyn Special School: We have had fun collecting our data this week. Professor Plant: I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the project Bulb Buddies.

St Fergus' Primary School: We have been recording our weather data at 2:30pm each day, we have noticed frost on some of the mornings but by the time 2:30pm comes it's gone and is warmer. We have had to clear some autumn leaves from our pots and flower bed. Professor Plant: Well done for looking after your flower beds Bulb Buddies. Is the frost still going before you take your weather readings? It’s still frosty in Cardiff this afternoon.

Llangan Primary School: What type of plant is professor Plant? Professor Plant: Hi Llangan Primary. You’ve planted Tenby daffodil and whitewell crocus bulbs. You’ve also planted some mystery bulbs! We’ll have to wait to see what these turn out to be. Any guesses?

Loreburn Primary School: Unfortunately our thermometer was stolen and one of our bulbs was dug up. The class are very sad about this. Professor Plant: I’m sorry to hear this Bulb Buddies. If you haven’t found a replacement thermometer I will send a new one. Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Litchard Primary School: The thermometer mercury bit snapped. Professor Plant: Thank you for letting me know Bulb Buddies. If you haven’t found a replacement thermometer I will send you one.

High Cross Primary School: HI PROFESSOR PLANT. Professor Plant: Hi High Cross Primary. I hope that you are enjoying the project!

Laurieknowe Primary School: rain gauge broken over weekend - no rain data. Professor Plant: Thank you for letting me know Bulb Buddies. If you haven’t found a replacement I’ll send a new one to you.


Thanks again Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant and Baby Bulb

Our new role as marine curatorial assistants within the invertebrate biodiversity section of Amgueddfa Cymru has so far not disappointed in offering insights into the tremendous diversity of life in our seas. After the first ten weeks of working to curate and conserve a large set of marine monitoring collections donated to the museum by Natural Resources Wales, we’ve already managed to log over 5,000 records of predominately marine invertebrates from around the welsh coast. These records have included starfish, polychaete worms, bryozoans, molluscs and anemones, to name only a few. Monitoring collections are essential for research in understanding the complexity of the natural world and diversity at many levels. To understand evolution, genetics and the morphological variation of species for example, specimens from many years are often needed, something which is not usually possible with live animals. These voucher specimens also hold valuable information about when and where species live and can be used for verification when the identification of a species is in doubt. An important contemporary issue is that specimens held in collections offer a wealth of baseline information which can be used as a comparison against current observations. This is essential when looking at how climatic changes are impacting marine life. 

 

For research to happen, specimens must be properly cared for, with their information being easily accessible. Our role can be predominately split into two parts: office and laboratory work. Work in the office encompasses everything from sorting species vials into classification groups, the logging of each vial from analogue to digital formats into a database, where locality information (e.g. sediment type and depth) and method of collection is inputted, to printing new labels for the vials, each with a unique reference number. In the laboratory, the number of specimens in each vial must be counted to accurately record species abundance, vials are then topped up with ethanol, labelled and rehoused into larger jars according to their classification groups. This method of double tubing vials into larger containers acts as not only an accessible way for a particular species to be found, but also as a preventative to stop specimens drying out. These new specimens will be added to an already impressive collection of marine invertebrates at the museum, with over 750,000 specimens. Hopefully, they will be used for generations to come to compare what we know today about the unknowns of the future.

Skull of Dippy the dinosaur

Hi folks, Dippy here!

 

I’ve been having a wonderful time at National Museum Cardiff, everyone is so friendly and I have been the centre of attention at some very exciting events. With far too many stories to fit into one blog, here are my top five highlights from my time spent in Cardiff.

 

1) Dysgu Cymraeg | Learning Welsh

I arrived in Cardiff an absolute beginner, but thanks to the lovely Museum staff I quickly picked up the language. With plenty of opportunities to practice my Welsh with visitors, I have been writing bilingual tweets from my account @DippyOnTour.

 

2) Dippy-Themed Events

When I heard I would be sharing the grand hall with events such as silent discos and yoga I was worried I might get in the way. In fact I have become the star of the show and even attended my first Welsh wedding!

 

The happy couple

The happy couple

© Sadie Osborne Photography, sadie-osborne.squarespace.com

                                                                                                    

3) Exploring Nature

My mission on this UK tour is to encourage people to explore nature on their doorstep. That’s not a difficult task in Cardiff, which boasts more green space per person than any other major UK city. I have had a marvellous time discovering new parks every day! Check out my website for tips on exploring nature in your local area.

 

4) My New Friend

I didn’t know there were other dinosaurs in Wales, but I was soon introduced to Dracoraptor, a dinosaur discovered only a few miles away from Cardiff. At first I was jealous of Dracoraptor’s rather interesting name which means ‘dragon thief’. However, once we got to know each other we quickly became friends.

Model of Dracoraptor

Model of Dracoraptor

© Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

5) YOU!

By far the best thing about being in Cardiff has been all the amazing people I have met. I’m here until 26 January so please keep visiting and sharing your selfies using #DippyArDaith and #DippyOnTour.

Crowds around Dippy the dinosaur

 

It’s that time of year when the stress of Christmas countdown, the high expectations of the season and extended time spent indoors with family can make the best of us a little … well, stir crazy – and in dire need of a place to chill out. Of course, a museum visit is a perfect antidote whatever your age; we offer space, interesting things to see indoors, creative activities and workshops, a break from the everyday, and of course our national museums here in Wales offer free entry which won’t stretch the purse strings further!

But for some of our community, having a place to chill out is not just a ‘nice to have’, rather it is an essential need which makes life and being out and about possible. The National Waterfront Museum has created a dedicated ‘chill-out room’ designed for autistic visitors but for use by anyone who needs it. Here, Ian Smith Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Industry at the Waterfront Museum explains how this special space came about.

“In October 2016 we had a staff training day in ‘Autism Awareness’. It opened our eyes to how they see the world and how we can support their needs. It showed us how even the simplest of environmental changes can affect a person with autism. Things like light and sound levels, the colour of walls and floors. In fact the general layout of a space which might be deliberately made stimulating and flashy might cause many autistic people to retreat within themselves.

It was around this time that we welcomed a new volunteer at the museum. Rhys, 17, has autism. His mother contacted us and asked if he could volunteer with us to help his confidence when meeting people and in a real work environment. Rhys helps to run an object handling session, usually with another volunteer or a member of staff, and he has taken to it really well. We have all noticed that he’s become more outgoing and will now hold conversations with total strangers.

With the growing awareness of autism the Museum decided to create an Autism Champion. Our staff member Suzanne, who has an autistic son, readily agreed to take up the challenge. She now attends meetings with our sister museums where issues and solutions around autism are discussed.

During our training session we discovered that some organisations have created ‘chill-out’ rooms. These are for anyone who is feeling stressed or disturbed to go to and relax and gather themselves together. These rooms are especially useful for autistic people. We put a small group together to look at creating a safe, quiet space somewhere in the Waterfront Museum. After considering options, we decided that a little used first aid room on the ground floor offered the best place.

Rhys came into his own. He offered us a number of suggestions on how we could change the space to make it autism friendly. These included making the light levels controllable and sound proofing the room so that gentle music or relaxing sounds could be played. Suzanne too came up with a number of ideas from her own experience of looking after her son. Additionally, a local special school, Pen-y-Bryn, with whom we had an established relationship also offered us their valuable expertise.

The room we’ve created is a very soothing space and we find it gets regular use by people with a range of needs, and is clearly much appreciated as shown by the comments in the visitor’s book:

“Fantastic resource! My daughter really needed this today – thank you!”

“Lovely place to get away from the hustle and bustle for a little one.”

“Lovely idea for people on the spectrum to come for quiet.”

“Really helped my son to have some time out.”

This has been a very big learning curve for most of us, but it has been made much easier by talking to people who have direct experience of autism. Their input as part of our team has been invaluable.”

“Lewis! Don’t touch anything and keep quiet!”

Those were the words of my history teacher, Mr Davies, as the bus from Cynffig Comprehensive School pulled up outside National Museum Cardiff in the autumn of 1966.

Fifty three years later, and since my appointment as President Amgueddfa Cymru earlier this year, I have heeded Mr Davies’s advice, as I have spent my time meeting and listening to the wonderful teams of people, staff and volunteers, around our eight sites, and hearing from our trustees, patrons, sponsors, government ministers and civil servants and to some of the millions of our visitors.

The overwhelming impact made upon me over these past six months is one of extraordinary passion and dedication to the work of Amgueddfa Cymru by everyone I have met. And everyone, quite rightly, is so proud of the remarkable achievements of Amgueddfa Cymru, especially with St Fagans matching the 2005 success of Big Pit by winning the Museum of the Year 2019 Award.

Nearly 1.9 million people visited our seven museums in the Amgueddfa Cymru family in this past year. Without doubt our national museums truly belong to the people of Wales, and thanks to the Welsh Government they are all free to visit.

Moreover, the support of our patrons, foundations and sponsors has allowed us to create a rich mix of events and exhibitions and to purchase a wide range of wonderous new things to display.

We are totally committed to the principles of cultural democracy and social inclusion which enables us as to engage with as many people as we possibly can from each and every corner of Wales. Working in partnership with as many diverse communities as possible, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to make a positive difference to the wellbeing of Wales and to secure our future for generations to come, underpinned by robust and considered research is our compass.

Our commitment to play our part in addressing the climate change emergency, based upon our special scientific insight, is critical to us all. And our horizons stretch beyond Wales. We are determined to make a dynamic contribution to Wales across the world, playing our part in creating a prosperous country for all.

As someone who is a beneficiary of Wales’s post-war vision of education being a right, not a privilege, and a son of parents who both left school at fourteen years of age, Amgueddfa Cymru’s commitment to learning is simply breath taking. Over two hundred thousand school children and students visited our museums in 2018/19. We are the largest learning provider outside of the classroom in Wales – this is outstanding.

Without doubt, Mr Davies would be mightily impressed with Amgueddfa Cymru today, and with our goal to remove as many barriers as possible, so that even more people immerse themselves in our inspirational galleries and spaces which ignite the imagination, it is creativity which will touch the hearts and minds of all.

We are now embarking on a 10-year plan to take our museums to even greater heights, welcome even more visitors, involve even more people, and be bold in our ambition to inspire people and change lives. Our desire to celebrate the very best of Welsh endeavour across a spectrum of disciplines inspires us all! I look forward to seeing what the new decade brings to Amgueddfa Cymru.

Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful new year to you all!

Roger Lewis

President, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales