Port Discovery Children’s Museum is a magical place in Baltimore, MD. Both the young and the young-at-heart always have a ball there!
Of course, as the humble mascot of Glee Gum, I’m also tickled pink to learn that folks at Port Discovery have fun making their own chewing gum!
A lovely lady named Lauren Bishop, Visual Arts Specialist in the Education & Community Enrichment department, has been kind enough to share information and pictures from one of the museum’s recent gum-making activities.
Just this past fall, Port Discovery used gum base purchased by the pound from Verve, inc., makers of Glee Gum. It was part of the “How to Wow” program, which Lauren says “focuses on exactly that, how something is made and where it is from. Guests then make a sample of their own!”
In this case, the something was gum. Yum!
“We had used the activity before in a community event. It was so popular that we chose the bring it back as a full-blown program!” Lauren recalls. “The program took place in our Studio Workshop, or art studio. For three months, guests from two to a hundred and two shared in a guided lesson from a program associate. Each guest participated in making gum of their own following the instruction.”
Okay, gum chums, I know what you’re thinking. But don’t worry! The process didn’t take three months. That’s just how long the programming was presented!
As Lauren explains, “A Program Associate led groups of thirty guests for thirty-minute sessions. A book was read about the how chicle is collected, where it is found, who collects it, how it becomes the gum we know today, and so on. Following a question-and-answer session, guests were guided through the steps to make their own gum!”
Sounds great! But since gum can create a sticky situation, I had to ask: any problems??
“It was a pretty messy program, but the kiddos loved it!” Lauren reports. “As with any food product, one has to be careful of allergies or certain diets. One obstacle we faced was serving our guests with Kosher diets. We took every step to provide Kosher gelatin and sugar products, however were not able to obtain Kosher certification for the chicle. We made guests aware of our efforts and they were very understanding.”
And the results?
Well, Lauren says that main question program participants asked afterwards was where to get more!
If YOU are interested in making your own gum, check out our handy dandy Gum Kit! If you prefer to supply the other ingredients yourself – and maybe even try an experiment or two (Science Fair Project, anyone?) – you might like the super duper Refill Kit, which contains just the chicle gum base. OR, if you’re keen to follow Port Discovery’s example and buy gum base by the pound, just shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks to Lauren and the entire staff of Port Discovery Children’s Museum. You guys are the cat’s pajamas!