Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hands On Exploration: Our Trip to the Children's Museum

The boys and I headed to the Children's Museum for some hands on exploration and learning.


While we did have a great day but I realized while there that this was probably going to be our last trip ever.  The boys were happy but not overjoyed.

Many times they seemed bored and I think they've finally outgrown it.

Each time I realize that about some place we frequent it's such a bittersweet moment for me.

We were thrilled to find that they had many new exhibits set up.  We spent a lot of time looking at all the animals.

  • Evan tried to read the names of all the various animals
  • Ian started comparing the different birth years of the animals to each other and to himself and his brothers.  
  • They got to pet the sugar gliders and Alec asked all kinds of questions about them, their habitats and their predators.


 The rain let up enough for us to walk outside and see the bobcat, raccoon and alligator.  We also walked through the butterfly garden and happily found quite a few butterflies around even though it was rather wet and cool.  We saw a robin in it's nest standing over it's babies (which we could hear chirping and see moving around just a bit).   We rounded our our animals education portion of the day watching the movie Awesome Whales For Kids in the theater.

We learned a lot about animals!

The monitor lizard 

Chinchilla 

Alec's favorite-- The Fennec Fox  

Bobcat 

Monarch Butterflies 

The sugar gliders are so cute 

and soft too! 


Robin and babies 

 We spent another large portion of our time in the Puzzled? area learning about optical illusions and how our brain perceives things.

We had fun racing to see who could complete the puzzle first-- an all blue puzzle or one with pictures.  They watched what happens to a pendulum when you swing the apparatus it's attached to.

Playing with the pendulum 

Making the puzzles 

Just a few of the optical illusions we learned about today 

We even spent our lunch learning!  We learned a lot about history, science, and found a new passion to study further! 

They had a wall of what they dubbed "Trailblazers of STEAM"-- STEAM standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math.

The wall was filled with pictures various people and talked about their various fields of study and the contributions they've made in their respective fields.

  • We read about astronaut Mae Jemison
  • Robert Lang (and origami)
  • Hedy Lamar (actress and scientist)
  • John James Audubon
  • Beatrix Potter.

Alec also noticed a timeline on the wall with Imhotep's name on it and we read about the meaning of Polymath and which other names we might recognize on that wall.  He asked me to find him a book about deciphering hieroglyphics & reminded us all about Imhotep's role in Ancient Egypt.  He's really getting into all the gods and goddesses of that era now.


 
We spent a good portion of the day in the Nano world exhibit learning all about the world that we can't see with our naked eye.

They played inside a domed tent (or drop of blood) and had great fun trying to bury each other under the red balls (blood cells).  They got to pretend they were scientists separating cells that were magnetized or made to glow in the dark.  We checked out all sorts of insects, plants, and animal life under the microscopes.  We enjoyed guessing what the photos on the wall were depicting.  We measured Evan in Nano-meters (he's over 1 billion 2 hundred million nano-meters tall).

Playing with "blood" 

1 drop of blood magnified 10,000 times; each
ball is one blood cell magnified 10,000 times 

Guessing the object based on a nano magnification of a portion of it 

Sorting cells 

A sea star under the magnifying glass 





Some of the cool pictures we saw; top left is a
 hole left in a sheet of metal made by a laser 

When we weren't in the Nano room or looking at the animals the boys spent some time building and exploring.

  • With circuits and electricity
  • They built with Lego pieces
  • large foam blocks
  •  gigantic wooden blocks.  
They seemed to have the most fun with the large foam blocks.  Evan and Alec made cars, had "sword" fights, built a diamond pick ax, a pick ax, Thor's hammer, and much, much more.



Evan's creation 

Ian builds a house 

The completed house (missing a few roof tiles since there weren't enough 

Evan made a car 

And then he decided to joust

Playing with sounds 

It was a great day filled with hands on exploration.

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