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Museums offer holiday programs

By JILL ADAMS

If the holidays present too much unstructured time for your kids, local museums are ready to fill the void.

The activities range from artistic to scientific, and all include educational components in fresh settings and hands-on projects that make ideas concrete. As far as schedules go, the excursions range from a four-day camp to an afternoon class to a spontaneous drop-in activity.

Whodunnit at CMOST

At the Children's Museum of Science and Technology in Troy, kids from 6 to 10 years old can learn about the science of crime solving at Science Detectives Camp to be held Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Tuesday, Dec. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The camp begins with a setup.

We'll stage a little crime, said Sarah Fisk, director of education and museum Experience. "Then day by day, we'll go through the steps of solving that crime."

Activities will relate to different methods of crime solving and the science behind some of those methods. Memory activities, fingerprinting and lip printing, and methods to determine the type of pen used will get young gumshoes started.

Specialists will come each day to show kids how crime-solving techniques are used in real life. In addition to a state police officer and a forensic scientist, a molecular biologist will demonstrate how to extract DNA from a banana. These visits underscore a grander goal of the camp, to expose kids to different career choices.

"The specialists help make it real," says Fisk, and show kids two things: how science relates to real life and you can have fun at work.

To register, call 518.235-2120 or visit the Web site, www.childrensmuseum.org. The fee is $180; museum members get a discount.

Art in Albany

The Albany Institute for History and Art is running a December Vacation Art Break for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Three different sessions will be held Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 27 to 29 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.

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