Aim, Focus, Click!

Photo by Alison Pascale

Photographers of all ages are invited to enter Hill-Stead’s Summer Photo Contest. Enjoy the beautiful grounds of Hill-Stead—and discover new perspectives using your camera.

Submit three to five of your favorite photographs to Three winning photos will be selected and posted on the museum’s Facebook page and website.  Winners will receive a free family membership and a $10 gift certificate to the Museum Gift Shop! The contest ends September 6, 2016.

So find something that interests you at Hill-Stead, focus your attention, then aim your camera. Here are some suggested themes:

  • Architecture
  • Landscapes and horizons
  • Foliage and/or flowers
  • Stone walls
  • Color
  • Light and/or shadow
  • The senses: sight, sound, smell, feel

For more details, see 2016 Summer Photo Contest Guidelines.

Experiment Photo Challenge

The winner of July’s Sciencetellers Experiment Photo Challenge will receive $200 off any Sciencetellers program! You can use the $200 toward a party, or donate it to your local school, library or scout troop to help them sponsor a Sciencetellers program!
Here’s how the Experiment Photo Challenge works: Post your best photo of the experiment to our Facebook page. Have fun and get creative! If you’re not on Facebook, email your photo to
At the end of the month, we will pick one winning photo. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @sciencetellers so you can see if you’ve won!
Make sure to do the experiment with an adult supervising at all times.

Experiment: “Walking Water”


1. Two paper towels
2. Three drinking glasses
3. Blue food coloring
4. Yellow food coloring


1. Place the three glasses side by side. Starting on the left hand side, fill that glass with water. Squirt a generous amount of blue food coloring into the water. Leave the next glass empty.
2. Now fill the glass on the far right hand side with water and add a generous amount of yellow food coloring.
3. Fold a paper towel in half length-ways and again so that it will fit into the neck of your glass easily. Now place one end of the paper towel into the blue water and bend the paper towel over the edge of the glass so that the other end sits in the empty glass in the middle.
4. Do the same on the other side: place one end of a paper towel into the yellow water, and bend it over so that the other end rests in the empty glass in the middle. Watch and wait.
5. In about 30 minutes or so, the water will start ‘walking’ up the paper towels and over into the middle glass. After about two hours you will have a mix of the two colors in the center glass.


The process of water moving along a conduit (the paper towel in this case) is called: capillary action. This is how flowers and plants move water from the ground beneath them, up through their stems and into their petals and leaves. The paper towel is very ‘absorbent’: which means there are enough gaps in its fibers for the water to move through easily and quickly. The adhesive force between the water and the paper towel is stronger than the cohesive forces inside the water itself.

Questions to Consider:

1. Do you think different sized glasses would affect the result?
2. How would it look with two different colors?
3. What other items besides a paper towel do you think would work?

Selfie Contest

All through August, you can strut your stuff along the Windsor Walking Tour and take a selfie at your favorite spot to win prizes. There are over 100 historic sites, points of interest, shops, restaurants and attractions in Windsor center that you can explore on

Here’s how to play.  Using your smartphone, go to (and click on) any location on, take a selfie showing you’re at that location, upload it and click the share buttons to share your selfie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Make sure to add hashtag #tourwindsorselfie to be eligible for prizes!  Submitted photos do not have to be your standard selfie – do a cartwheel in front of the site, take a group selfie – feel free to make it your own!
You’ll be able to share the prizes with your friends, so make sure they help you win by sharing and voting for your photos!  Prizes will include gift certificates to regional restaurants.
The mobile website walking tour is a collaborative effort between the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, First Town Downtown and the Windsor Historical Society, all nonprofit organizations.

 Writing Contest

Royal Nonesuch - Enter today!

Submit 7,000 words or less of any original work of humor; fiction or non-fiction. Submissions will be judged by our award-winning Twain House staff, Twain experts, Trinity College faculty and celebrity guest judges. A youth category for Young Authors (under 18) is also available. Prizes are awarded in both categories – Adult & Young Author.

  • First prize: $1,000
  • Second prize: $500
  • Third prize: $250
  • Honorable Mention: $100 Gift Certificate for the Mark Twain Store

Submissions are open February 1 through July 10, 2016. The winners will be announced in September. For further contest rules and submissions, please visit our page here.

“If Mark Twain were alive, he’d be happy about this contest, because he’d win it.” – Andy Borowitz