Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Museum of Science and Industry

Steve took off work the last Monday in January and we went down to the Museum of Science and Industry. I'm so glad it wasn't a weekday, as there were a lot of people but it didn't feel too crowded. We stopped in first at the Idea Factory. I thought we'd be here for a while, but after 20 minutes or so the kids were ready to leave.

Next, we headed for the baby chicks. This is our fifth time coming to the museum, and every time we've watched the chicks in the incubator. The kids love looking at the eggs, and are especially thrilled when they can see a chick right as he's hatching from his shell. I'm always sad, though. I can't help thinking how wrong it is for that little chick to hatch and not have his mother right there. It also made me a little sad to see that the kids could walk right up to the glass and see the chicks at eye-level. Last visit, they had to look on tip-toe, and the visit before that we had to pick them up. Soon, they'll have to bend down to see the chicks. I better stop now before I start crying.

We quickly went through the flight exhibit.

We usually make our way sometime during each visit to the farm exhibit. There is a real combine and tractor for the kids to climb into. As long as there isn't a long line (unfortunately there was this time), this can be a great experience for kids. However, it makes it hard when they finally get up into the drivers seat, start pulling away at all the levers and knobs, only to be pulled away so another kid can have his turn. I'm so thankful that Jared and Alexa don't have to spend the majoirty of their days being yanked away from self-initiated activities and projects just to fit someone elses' agenda.  

We also made a brief stop in You! The Exhibit. It's a new exhibit, and I'd heard good things about it, but I must say I was a bit disappointed. There were too many computer simulations. I know they're hands-on, but what about exhibits like the old heart you could walk right through? Or things you can touch and manipulate that don't always involve a keyboard? 

That said, Alexa loves computers, so she did like the exhibit where you'd try to capture different blood cells and platelets and drag them over to a large microscope to learn more about them, and the exhibit where you grab onto a handle, and after a while the computer syncronizes with your pulse and you can hear it over speakers.

I was surprised at how much Alexa loved the miniature train area. We've passed this section several times in the past, and while the kids liked climbing into the trolley, they didn't want to look at the trains that much. Not this year. Alexa asked dozens of questions and didn't want to be pulled away at all from watching the little trains wind their way around the tracks.

But the ultimate fun was watching Alexa at the cow milking station. In the farm exhibit, they have a station set up when you can put real suction cups on a fake cow and pretend to milk it. Steve showed her how to spray each teat with an air gun, and then put a suction cup on each teat. She LOVED doing this and spent 20-30 minutes doing the whole milking procedure over and over again. I can't wait to take the kids in the spring to  working farm where they have a junior farmers program. The kids will be able to collect eggs, feed the goats,and I hope, get to milk the cows.

Jared, however, was more impressed with the fake cow poop.

No comments: