plastics workshopWilliamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will hold two Children’s Workshops during the Fall. The workshops are in a series of scientific Children’s Workshops, supported by a grant from the Free and Accepted Masons.

On Saturday, November 16, 2019, at 2pm in its Community Room, a plastics workshop will be held. The free workshop will include hands-on scientific experiences for children under the supervision of Tim Weston, professor at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Weston states that the College will be sending “small thermoformers. We have a number of them so each student should be able to thermoform something” In past workshops, students have created Frisbees and three-dimensional molded items. The students will take the items home as souvenirs.

Weston, head of the Department of Plastic Technology, possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Lock Haven University and a Master’s in Polymer Science from Penn State.

Clear candies

A second workshop will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 2pm in the Taber’s Community Room. This workshop will explore candy-making and will be led by Rich Nornhold. The children will learn to make clear candy and of course, the children will be encouraged to ‘taste’ their creations! For this workshop, a parent (or an adult guardian) must accompany the child.

Nornhold, a native of Snyder County, has been studying and admiring decorative arts for most of his life. He remembers his great great grandfather handing out clear candy as Christmas mementoes to his extensive family. This left an indelible impression on Nornold. His early love of history developed into a teaching career which spanned forty years, teaching history and government studies at Warrior Run High School. As well, he has been associated with the Warrior Run/Fort Freeland Heritage Days Apprenticeship program. He is proficient in mentoring twelve different trades, including coopering.

On Christmas Eve following a long-established tradition, children of Pennsylvania German families would leave a plate on the table hoping that it would be filled with nuts, an apple or an orange, and clear toy candy. The candy, often made in whimsical shapes such as farm animals, trains, or Father Christmas were created from a solution of corn syrup (alternately barley water), sugar, and water. Yellow, red or green food coloring were often used to enhance the candy’s appeal.

The workshops are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is strongly suggested. A child may be registered by calling 570.326.3326 or by signing up via lchsmuseum@verizon.net.ing and the children will learn to make clear candy and of course, the children will be encouraged to ‘taste’ their creations! For this workshop, a parent (or an adult guardian) must accompany the child.

The museum is located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, and ample parking may be found on the parking lot behind the museum or on the street. For further information, please call 570.326.3326