Yesterday we went up to the new science museum that just opened near us. It was really fun!
I took so many pictures I can't share them all! I would link you to the Flickr page, but I've uploaded my limit for the month -- already!
Anyway, here are some highlights. I've put together a slideshow with the pictures and I'll try to get it uploaded to YouTube and add the link.
In the parking lot they have some trucks - and one really big dump truck. Josh didn't believe me that the wheels were bigger than Dad! They wondered how the drivers got in a truck that big and when we walked around front, they discovered some ladders.
In the lobby they had a big compass with a swinging pendulum. They had some domino type blocks that the pendulum would knock down. Josh really liked this and kept asking me questions I couldn't answer. So I did what every mother would have done. No I didn't make something up - I directed him to the lady working there who COULD answer his questions. Turns out the pendulum knocks down three blocks an hour. Since Josh figured out this was one block every 20 minutes, we decided to not sit and wait to see a block knocked down!
We moved on to the Mineral Gallery. Now, when I read about this on the web I thought the kids would find it boring. Not So! They have all sorts of interactive displays and exhibits. They have meteorites and lava rocks that you can touch, petrified wood, rocks and all sorts of cool things. They had some rocks and minerals they showed under white light, then the lights dimmed and they put different types of light on them and we could see the minerals glow.
They also have a whole display on earthquakes. One of them you banged on a drum and could see the vibrations on the "earthquake" you created. Another display had a map of the world with little circles on it in different colors. Each circle represented an earthquake over the last 5 years. They had a color for Earthquakes in the last 5 years, 2 weeks, 2 days and even for earthquakes today! If you rolled the mouse over the spot, it showed when, where and how strong the quake was. Josh couldn't believe there were so many earthquakes yesterday! When we were there they must have had 7 red circles indicating today's quakes.
After we were done with the rocks and minerals, we went off to the fossils - this means Dinosaurs! Of course the favorite part was the "Touch this if you dare" sign. We touched the rock and lifted the panel and it said, "you just touched dinosaur poop!" How perfect for my two kids! Josh also loves ammonite fossils and they had plenty of them too!
Then we moved on to the "Science in Motion" gallery and saw all sorts of old cars and planes, a replica of the Apollo 1 space craft, space suits, a Rolls-Royce Viper Jet engine, and other cool things. The Henry Ford Museum it is not, but it had enough to keep my boys entertained! They kept saying over and over, "We HAVE to bring Grampa here!" So I think we're going back next weekend!
Then it was time to get our hands dirty! The kids panned for minerals - and could keep all they found - then dug for dinosaur fossils - and could keep just one of them. Josh took home a small ammonite and Sam found a piece of a sharks tooth. Afterward we went tot he "Collins Family My Big Backyard" which is a big room with lots of hands on things for the kids. There are benches in the middle so parents can sit (if they don't want to play too) and the kids can go off and learn by doing.
We were very tired by the time we were done. But it was so nice outside the boys just had to roll down the hill! We stopped at a local bakery (thanks Dina for the recommendation) on the way home to get some cookies and we were set!
Now we can't wait to go back!