Sunday, March 2, 2014

Museum of Science and Industry

So the Science Kid and I decided to take a field trip this week to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  This elder-statesman of the Chicago museum scene consistently maintains its reputation as, not only the best in Chicago, but one of the best in the world.

First we saw the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives. The SK is also a DK (Disney Kid) so she nearly exploded.  They had props and costumes from the live action movies, some behind the scenes video, and a cartooning class.  The princess dresses alone were worth it for the SK.  Needless to say, she had a blast.  In honor of Disney, we wore our Minnie and Daisy shirt along with a crown.  Don't worry though, we brought Wonder Woman along in our purse.

Now, on to the Science.  Or maybe the Industry.  SK was crazy excited to see the airplane and the trains.  I'm not entirely sure why.  We ignore the few toy cars and planes we have at home.  There are train tracks about that never get touched.  Regardless, we ran upstairs to jump in the plane.  She spent some time air-traffic controlling, serving me drinks while I sat  in the back of the plane, and staring at the cockpit.  She was seriously bummed that we couldn't get in and steer the plane.  We discussed what the different nobs and levers did.  The great part is, I had no idea about most of them!  We got to guess, make comparisons to cars, and make up some silly parts....like the pizza oven over the copilot's seat!

The Science of Storms is a big exhibit.  It is definitely skewed toward older kids, and even adults.  We got to look at the huge tornado simulator, and played with some prisms, but the 'lightning ball was the big hit.

We also spent quite a bit of time down on the farm at Farm Tech.  Of all the exhibits, this is probably the least interactive, which really frustrated SK.  We wanted to feed the cows.  Nope, it was pretend.  We wanted to plant some crops.  Nope, just a picture.   At least there were tractors to drive.

Next to Farm Tech is the Idea Factory.  This is similar to many of the Children's Museums in the area.  There were levers and gears and water and balls and air.  The interactivity is great, but there was little 'science' to learn about.  There is a giant balance that started a good conversation of putting the same amount of foam blocks on each side.  As far as the rest, we weren't that in to it, but it was lunch time, so we took a break in the food court.

Energy was definitely low, but we still had to see the baby chicks.  The genetics was FAR beyond SK, which was fine.  We just wanted to see some baby birds.  We got to see a newly hatched check that had JUST emerged from the egg.  It was struggling quite a bit, and we got to talk about how helpless babies are.  They need to be fed, changed, snuggled, repeat.  She was very sad for the chick that its mommy and daddy weren't around.  Of course they were just in the other room and come out when everyone leaves the museum.

As we were walking toward the car (Advanced Beginner Note:  Save $10 on parking if you park on the east side of the museum off of Science Drive.  It is surface parking, and a bit of a walk, but the meter is only $10!), I asked what SK's favorite part was.  She thought about it and said Yesterday's Main Street.  She is fascinated by things that happened before anyone she knows was born.  (We had an uncomfortable encounter with a painting of the Great Chicago Fire at a Potbelly's.  We often talk about the fire.  "Why did that cow kick over a lantern?  Was everyone mad at the cow?")  The Main Street scene has some great old artifacts from pharmacies, doctor's offices and clothing stores.  Of course, my little SK loved the fancy Dresses!

Chicago MSI is a great Saturday outing.  We got there right as they opened at 9:30, and had many of the exhibits to ourselves, even on a Saturday.  It is so big, that there are rarely crowds or long waits to see individual items.  AND there is so much to see!  It also helps that teachers get in for free...

Until next Saturday, Keep Scienceing!



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