Friday, February 12, 2010

Adler Planetarium

For some reason my camera was acting funky the day we visited the Adler Planetarium, so every picture looks hazy. It's cleared up now, so I don't know what was wrong. Anyhow, we had a great time with Steve's parents the third week of January.

I had wanted to take the kids to the Planetarium for the Adler's Kids Club. Online it's described as hands-on activities for kids ages 3-7. Both kids are drawn to anything hands-on, so I thought they'd really love it, but when we got there and went to the room where it was supposed to take place, nothing was there. It turns out it's a volunteer-run program, so if the volunteers don't show up, the activities are cancelled.

Of course, the day turned out just fine; it's just the initial disappointment that is hard to get over. I guess it was just my disappointment since they kids didn't seem to care less. We had a bit of a problem with Jared running away from me for a while, but we played hide-and-seek a bit with them and ate lunch, and that seemed to settle them down.

We have been the the Planetarium twice, so the kids remembered the room on the main floor with the planet exhibit. Jared liked looking at the model Mars rover.

We also saw the IMAX movie Cosmic Collisions. We all really, really enjoyed it. Alexa asked so many questions during the movie. She was sitting next to Granddad;  he's a huge astronomy buff, so I think he enjoyed answering her questions.

I had never noticed the Medieval Science section in the lower floor before. The kids liked dressing up as medieval scholars.

I wished I could have stayed here for a lot longer, but with the kids it's hard to stand still for long reading the signs. Besides my fairly new interest in science, I have a pretty strong interest, I suppose you could say passion, for learning about history. I've decided to start from the beginning, and so far I've spent two years studying about history before A.D. I read books, listen to lectures from the Teaching Company, and watch DVD documentaries. I also try to go to museums such as the Oriental Institute in Chicago when I can, too. This year I've started studying Medieval history, so this exhibit was especially interesting to me.

This exhibit also had a section that recreated a medieval classroom. The kids liked playing "school." Jared sat in the seats, and Alexa played the teacher. They are building a very large exhibit area for younger kids. We saw the construction taking place, and signs saying it will be open in March, so we will have to come back to check this out.

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