Saturday, August 15, 2009

Engineers Day at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham

Joey, Johnny, Madi, and I went to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham today for Engineers Day. We had a GREAT time. I know, I know, I always say that about our trips to the museum, but it's really true!

IBM sponsored the hands-on activities that were conducted inside in the Mercury Room. I have to say that the volunteers were all fantastic with the kids. It was hard to tell who was having more fun...the adults or the kids. The activities were well thought out, and the kids had fun doing them. The first activity we tried was insulating a real egg to see if it could sustain an 8' drop. The kids had foam and paper and plastic cups, etc. along with tape to use as padding. With a little help, Johnny's egg survived. Two activities involved food and building. The kids even managed not to eat their materials. With the gum drops and toothpicks, you were supposed to see how high you could build a structure with just 10 gum drops. With the marshmallows and spaghetti you were supposed to build a bridge and then do weight testing. There were Lego Mindstorm robotics, and the kids got to build an arm with a touch pad and then test out their work. There was a neat 3-D computer game were the kids were learning about being 'green'. The kids even got to see the insides of a keyboard, computer, mouse, and hard drive. How cool was that?!? Just as long as they aren't taking my computer apart at home now! They got to build a boat and see how many screws it could hold and still float. Madi's did pretty good with a little help;-) But, maybe the most popular was racing your balloon. Tape was used to attach a straw on string to a balloon. Let the air out and watch your 'rocket' go! Like I said, we had a great time. We spent over 90 minutes enjoying ourselves with these events. Thanks to all the adults who put on such a fun and educational time for the kids...

Mom was delighted to see the Great Blue Heron so close to the boardwalk in Explore the Wild today. I got some pictures that I am very happy with. Madi also took some.

One of the keepers, Erin, was at the black bears habitat when we visited and boy did I get some great pics there too! Tongues out. Splashing in the water. Eating apples. Posing just for me I think. Too cute!

The dinsour fossil dig site was open for our visit today, and Joey found a HUGE shark tooth. It's bigger than a quarter. He did that all by himself. Madi and I worked real hard trying to find luck. But, we did find coral and some bone and some smaller teeth. Every kid that gets a chance to dig in this site is going to have a good time in the dirt no matter what they walk away with!

In the butterfly house, Madi had the prettiest blue/black butterfly land in her hair. That's always a cool experience too.

We were at the museum for 6 hours today, and we could easily have stayed for another hour or two. There is just that much great stuff to see and do.

You can see the rest of the pics here.