News From Terre Haute, Indiana


January 31, 2013

Terre Haute Children's Museum plans Benjamin Franklin birthday bash

Guests also get to preview upcoming Go Figure 'Focus on Fitness'

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Children’s Museum will host a belated birthday bash to celebrate Benjamin Franklin from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Guests will get to preview the upcoming four-week session of Go Figure titled “Focus on Fitness.” The event will include a number of special activities and presentations, including a special appearance by a person portraying Franklin.

Franklin, who was born Jan. 17, 1706, became famous for being a scientist, inventor, statesman, printer, philosopher and economist.

During the birthday celebration, museum guests will have a chance to learn about many of Franklin’s accomplishments including his most important inventions, his interest in health-related issues, and his focus on being thrifty and financially fit.

The celebration, co-sponsored by the Indiana State University Go Figure team, the ISU Center for Mathematics Education, and the new ISU Old National Bank Financial Health Program will feature a number of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. The birthday celebration is free for members of the museum and free with museum admission for non-members.

ISU’s Old National Bank Financial Health Program will debut its outreach activities during the celebration. Representatives from the Bayh College of Education and Scott College of Business will be on hand to provide interesting fun facts about money and offer a brief lesson on using cash, checks and ATM/debit cards.

Museum guests will also learn about some of Franklin’s lesser-known theories and accomplishments in the fields of health, physical fitness and medicine. Franklin’s health-related interests included staying active, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods.

He taught himself how to swim and was an avid swimmer all his life, becoming the only founding father in the Swimming Hall of Fame. Franklin also became a vegetarian; saving the money he could have spent on meat to buy books to quench his thirst for knowledge.

To celebrate the healthy living aspects of his legacy, representatives from the ISU College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services will get guests “moving,” share tips on healthy meals and snacks, and provide insights on how to maintain good health during the winter flu season with a little assistance from a special guest playing the part of Florence Nightingale.

The birthday celebration would not be complete without an opportunity to learn more about Franklin’s well-known accomplishments, including establishing the first hospital, first volunteer fire department and first public lending library in America.

He was also the country’s first postmaster general; he was a printer, publisher and journalist; and he was the only Statesman to sign all four of the crucial documents in the birth of America: the Declaration of Independence, Franco-American Alliance, Treaty of Paris and U.S. Constitution.

At 2:30 p.m., people portraying Franklin and Nightingale will share the stage to provide some insights on the importance of physical and financial health/wellness and offer additional information on the spring session of Go Figure.

Go Figure is a math encouragement and enrichment program, and each week of the program has a different theme, allowing students to see the math in fun things like design, weather, airplanes and crime scene investigation. The unique math program is designed for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students. For the past two years, it has helped students gain enthusiasm and excitement for mathematics.

The four-week program, which receives support from the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, will take place every Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., beginning Feb. 9 and ending March 2 at the museum. The program will focus on the following topics:

• Feb. 9 — Keep moving, Find the key to developing an active life style: An Indiana State University athletic trainer and athletes will engage participants in interactive, heart-pumping activities and an obstacle course to encourage daily activity.

• Feb. 16 — You are what you eat: Healthy eating habits will be the focus, including how to read a food label and comparing and contrasting favorite snacks, and making a tasty snack mix.

• Feb. 23 — Go Figure meets Top Chef: Come prepared to share a favorite recipe with a chef from Sodexho Dining Services. Participants will view a demonstration provided by the chef and create a healthy wrap to taste. The wrap recipe created will be shared at the Children’s Museum’s upcoming fundraiser, “100 Men Who Cook.”

• March 2 — Be the best you can be and have some fun: Join local Miss Indiana contestants in discussing the importance of self-confidence and being the best you that you can be. A male and female dance duo from a local dance studio will share their time and talent, and they’ll also teach guests some new steps.

The Go Figure Focus on Fitness registration form can be downloaded online at thchildrensmuseum.

com/images/stories/GoFigureSpring13.pdf. Cost to attend all four sessions is $30 for members of the Terre Haute Children’s Museum and $40 for non-members.

The Terre Haute Children’s Museum is at Eighth Street and Wabash Avenue in downtown Terre Haute. For more information visit, email or call 812-235-5548. For information about the ISU Center for Mathematics Education, visit

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