Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random Acts of Science

Last weekend every time we drove by the Science Center AnnaBeth asked if we could visit it (note to those who don't live here: the Science Center spans a major highway in town, so it's really hard to miss if you're anywhere near it).

Then, of course, this week was the blast off of the last mission for space shuttle Discovery , which we watched. And then sent a birthday card to Scott Kelly on the shuttle Friday. Then I asked, Do you want to go ice skating?" to which Annabeth replied, "I want to go to the planetarium."

Thalia decided to join our adventure, and thus the 3 of us found ourselves arriving at the planetarium in time to see the afternoon show on planets in our solar system, which was better than any of us remembered, possibly because this time we realized that the BEST answer when the lecturer asked , "What do you suppose these bodies are around Jupiter?" was to exclaim "Death stars?!" And,upon viewing the list of Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callista, Thalia announced, "that's what I'm going to name my children." Also, we decided the list of dwarf planets -- Pluto, Eris, Ceres -- needed the addition of a friend's last name (you know who we mean, right? Yes, HIM.)

After the lecture ended the kids practiced replacing the lithium oxide canisters to purify the air:

Annabeth pretended to wash her hands; the replica of the toilet next to it was pretty much impossible to pretend to use.

Thalia flew a simulation over the continent. Or something like that. Really, I'm not sure what the point of that particular display was.

Then we scurried over to the main science center to shop at the gift shop.

On the way back we discovered that someone had actually managed to put up the Arch (always worth a snap shot -- it fell over before they had a chance to take a picture themselves).

And stopped on those clear things that allow you to look down on the Interstate directly below your feet:

And isn't this the perfect outfit for visiting the science center -- Catbus hat, Oireachtas hoodie, Stormtrooper messenger bag, and, of course, Uggs

Mostly we stopped on all of the viewholes because they really disturb Thalia's BFF, and we wanted to take lots of disturbing pictures. Wish a car would've zoomed by when I clicked this:

Then home to eat our dehydrated ice cream we had purchased from the gift shop, which fulfills a Junior Girl Scout badge requirement (#8 Space Flight Spinoffs).

And, of course, we also completed #4 Think Sky High (visit an airport, an airplane cockpit, a control tower, a space center, an aerospace museum, or a planetarium) and #6 Shoot for the Stars (watch a space launch) in the midst of this, not to mention badge Sky Search #2 Constellations (learn to identify at least 5 constellations), #10 Mission: Space (learn about a current mission in space), and made a good start on #4 Planets (learn which planets are visible to the naked eye and locate at least one during a stargazing adventure -- we'll have to wait for some clear weather for that).

Plus, AnnaBeth has decided her new career path -- astrophysicist. Although I think she's simply attracted to the FIZZ of the word, and not the meaning.


Ami said...

What a blast!
Badge work, fun, photos... I need to come visit you.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has a clear tunnel one walks through in the middle of a big aquarium.

And although the sides and top are clear, the floor is carpeted except for the viewing holes.

Of course it's the same material all around us, but we still step OVER the holes instead of on them.

Ami said...

Here's a fascinating link.

Bridgett said...

Fun! Mike used to work at the Sci Center and for the longest time it was like sausages and law for me--you don't want them after you see how they're made. I knew too much about the Sci Center...but it's been 11 years now and my two girls are just about getting old enough to try again....