Teacher Newsletter | Pensacola MESS Hall

Teacher Newsletter

 Learn about booking field trips, get details about a featured program, and let us tell you about hot topics in science news and hands-on activities for you to share with your students.

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to contact us is at groups@pensacolamesshall.org. Tell us what you’re looking for to supplement your students’ science education.
Click here for a list of all School Programming.

December Teacher Newsletter

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Things to Know | Featured ProgramScience News | Classroom Activity | Learn More

Things to Know

  • Moving Our landlord is expanding its operations and will be taking over the current MESS Hall space in early 2021. What does that mean for the exciting science experiences the MESS Hall provides? We are weighing options and hope to have a new location soon after we close our doors on Tarragona Street. Part of our mission is to inspire creative problem solving, and we will model that as we consider flexible options and special programming to keep working to expand science understanding. Whatever happens, we will continue to work toward inspiring curiosity in our community.

    Our current plan is to be open through the winter break at minimum. If you haven’t visited in a while, please make plans to stop by before our hiatus–we look forward to seeing you! Please keep in mind that we are limiting attendance, along with other precautions, so plan accordingly.
  • Educational Resource Rummage Sale 
    During the rest of the year, the Green Room will be open as a continuous rummage sale. On sale are reference books, non-fiction books, and other science-y offerings. Stop by during our hours of operation: Thursday & Friday 12pm to 5pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm.

    Though our lease is ending, our creativity keeps going. The MESS Hall staff continues to bring math, engineering, science, and stuff to our area’s classrooms.

Featured Program

“Kits for Classrooms: Water Works!” 

Introducing a new in-class program the MESS Hall is offering for Grades 3, 4, and 5.  This program is grant-funded, to be made available to those who apply and are approved.
Through this program, receive kits that provide teachers with the initial materials necessary for a series of experiments. These can be done together for about an hour of integrated math, science, and engineering.
The current theme is “Water Works,” exploring water and its properties are an easy and affordable way to engage students in hands-on math, engineering, and science. 

Apply Today. Preference is given to high-need schools. 

Virtual or In-Person Outreach

The Pensacola MESS Hall has options for science fun in your classroom! We now have virtual field trips in addition to in-person outreach.  Depending on your district and school administration policy, our instructors can visit your classroom for a “hands-on” experience.

  • Water Works-Students will take an exploration of the properties of water while doing hands-on activities to investigate surface tension, buoyancy, refraction, hydrophobic materials, and freezing point. Suitable for grades 3-5
  • Moonbear’s Shadow, an exploration of light and shadows with a literature connection. Suitable for grades K-2

Registration is easy! Pick a date and program, and we’ll pencil you in to match the guidelines necessary!

Science News Brief

Scientists discover new species of Comb Jelly with a remote underwater vehicle

Scientists working with NOAA have identified the jellyfish-like animal near Puerto Rico.

In 2015, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries research team filmed this bizarre-looking, translucent creature more than 2 miles below the surface using a remotely operated vehicle. Though similar in appearance to a jellyfish, in the phylum cnidaria (named for the stinging cells they use to capture prey), ctenophores are in their own phylum, Ctenophora. The name is descriptive of the “comb-like” cilia that line their body for swimming. Only 100 to 150 distinct species have yet been identified.

Read more on Fisheries.NOAA.gov

Classroom Science Activity

Lines to Curves



    • Choose one of the four figures in the template at a time 
    • Using the ruler, draw a line connecting the two dots labeled number ‘1’. Note, they are in different places depending on the template you chose.
    • Continue drawing lines connecting the dots labeled ‘2’, ‘3’, and so on until you have drawn a line connecting each pair of numbers

MESS Around

    • Try some of the other figures in the template, how do they all differ?
    • Using the blank sheet provided, make your own template!
    • Change the number of marks on the circle template. Does this change the shape or size of the concentric circle?

What’s going on?

When we think of a curve, we typically think of the locus—the set of points that make up the curve. In this activity, we defined the curve by its envelope—the set of lines that are tangent to the curve at each point. 

The curve produced using two lines is called a hyperbola. A hyperbola is an open curve (unlike a circle or ellipse) whose arms extend to infinity. At large distances from the center, the hyperbola approaches the two lines that were our starting lines, called its asymptotes. However, it never intersects those lines.

(Hyperbola and hyperbole, meaning an exaggeration, both share the same Greek origin, translated directly as over (hyper) and throw (bola)

More Information

Click here for more information on our Classroom Programs. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook to get the best updates on our upcoming programs and events, both for your classroom and your family.

If you are not already, be sure you are signed up for our monthly Teacher Newsletter to stay up-to-date on what the MESS Hall has to offer, and to receive the science news and activities we share with you!

As always, feel free to email any questions about program details or booking to groups@pensacolamesshall.org.