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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Boston Science Museum

We actually managed to get all the animals fed and watered and all of us dressed and into the van before 7:30 AM. We got on the road and thankfully saw very little traffic for the 2 hour trip. Sam and the children played this annoying game called "Yellow Car, I Win." (thanks SO much Jones boys for teaching them this!)

As we approached Boston, Nathalie saw a sign advertising the Science Museum's IMax movie "Roving Mars", and she figured out where we were going. Bright child, considering the museum passes were sitting on the dashboard the whole trip...

When we arrived at the museum we got tickets fro the first seating of the movie. We spent about a half hour exploring the "New England Marsh Habitat" and the Solar System Displays. They had a really cool scale model of the Grand Canyon that was enormous and 1 inch equalled 400 feet! Why it was near the Solar system displays, I don't know...

The movie was amazing! It was made with the help of Disney studios so the recreations of the Rovers' landings were done with computer graphics, making them very realistic looking. They stated in the credits that they used the real photos from the Rovers to make the graphics as "real" as possible. I think the rocket blast-off was the best part!

After the movie we wandered through a few more exhibits: Dinosaurs, Playground Physics, and the musical stairs. By then it was starting to get crowded and it was also around lunch time. We went back to the van for a picnic lunch. When we returned to the museum we watched the lightning show, visited the Tamarin monkeys' behavioral study exhibit, checked out the Human Body exhibit where they had a set of sheeps lungs being displayed by a museum employee. She was demonstrating the parts and inflating them to represent how our lungs expand. Hannah thought it was the best part; Abby not so much!

We walked through the "Mythical Creatures" exhibit and enjoyed seeing how they de-bunked or supported many of the myths/legends with some science. Such as the legends of sea monsters: that they recently discovered Colassal Squid, which at 35-40 feet in length would definitely be a sea monster to people in a 25 foot wooden boat! It was interesting, in my opinion, to see how many varied cultures, spread across many miles, managed to create similar creatures. Either we are not so different after all, or there is something to the legends...

After Mythical creatures we watched a live animal show, which of course, was a snake! A very beautiful green tree snake. I know, I know: the only good snake is a dead snake. But this one was very far away, on a stage, with a snake handler: The next best thing to a dead snake. Next we walked up two levels and across the museum to watch two very talented brothers teach about atoms, molecules, and nanos, with juggling and humor!

We visited the gift shop on our way out, but only Hannah bought something: A DVD about human anatomy. We intend to go back in February during a weekday when it won't be so crowded. There is a Forg exhibit that will be coming at the end of the month that coincides with an IMax movie about the Amazon! And we learned that due to special funding, all IMax movies on Fridays are FREE!

There is still so much we didn't see, despite spending a little over 8 hours there: the Butterfly garden, Computers and Technology, Engineering, Space missions, Mathematica, Natural History, Live Zoo, Optical Illusions....

I am very thankful to my sisters in Kansas who sent us the wonderful gift of a family membership to the museum. It is something our whole family enjoys and we always find an activitiy for each kid when we go! Plus, it counts towards homeschool!
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