A little over a week ago I had the chance to take a few days off and be a full-time Dad! Now I am always a dad but I also have to work for a living. So I really look forward to the times when I can take off for a day or two and dive head first into the business of being a dad. Last week as my wife was headed of to parts unknown (Florida), I geared up for a couple days of home school, play time, and yes a “Dadventure” or two.
I love a good field-trip especially if it ends at a museum… (see my post about our visit to the Art Institute). So as long as I was going to be in charge of my kids school work, I figured we might as well do some science at the Museum of Science and Industry (@msichicago).
Now this place is huge, can you do it all in one day, the answer is no, you are gonna have to come back. This was actually the second time that I had gone with the boys since we moved here. This time we were focused. As we entered the place we made a plan of attack. We would start at the huge model train display (It’s a family fav now) then go to YOU! The Experience have some lunch and finish up at the Science Storms exhibit. In just over 5 hours… we managed to pull it all off… plus a little extra…On our way over to YOU! the Experience we crossed the rotunda just as they started a live science experience called “Bangs, Flashes and Fire” where we learned and witnessed how different elements react to heat. Of course we had to stop and watch…
At YOU! the Experience we learned about all the amazing things our bodies can do from using our brainwaves to move a ball to how we read emotion from our expressions. We learned tricks for how to sleep better and why good sleep is important. We learned how science and technology is used to help people who lose a limb our have other problems continue to do the things they love. The kids left that exhibit reluctantly for lunch, but our lunch conversation centered around all the amazing things that our bodies can do.
After lunch we were off to Science Storms. We started at the Foucault pendulum and learned how Foucault proved the earth was rotating. We saw exhibits that taught us how scientists use models to predict how landslides, tornadoes, and tsunamis form and impact the environment. We stood in the middle of a man-made twister and then made one of our own. We made rainbows with prisms, and launched hot air balloons. One of the most exciting/scary things we did was learn how scientists study lightning while we sat beneath a giant Tesla coil.
As we finished with the lightning we were just in time for another lab experience where we learned about how molecules and elements react to the cold by doing experiments with liquid nitrogen. It was called “Happy Brr-thday”. We saw what happens to oxygen filled balloons when they are stored in liquid nitrogen. We used liquid nitrogen to toot party horns. Then used the liquid nitrogen to make vanilla ice cream for everyone to share!
We wrapped up the day by playing with an interactive periodic table of elements exhibit, to learn how different elements react to each other.
In our 5 hours there we got through 4 of the over 50 exhibits and shows that are available there. We learned by doing (playing) and had a fabulous time. We are looking forward to our next visit already!
Here is a little video montage of our trip, I hope you enjoy watching it, cause we enjoyed doing it!