Friday, July 25, 2008

Foto Friday

In honor of it being Friday, and the fact that I have finally pulled out my camera again, we have a bunch of photos to share from this week.

Here are Mary and Katie working on their Rainforest pictures. They are adding animals and plants found on the forest floor.

We did make it to The Museum of Life and Sciences yesterday. The weather was wonderful and the museum was packed. There were quite a few things that I had to promise the girls that we would come back to after school starts so they could have more time with it.

This is the Sound & Movement room in the newest exhibit. There are small cameras in the ceiling positioned over each square. Each square has an assigned sound, and as the camera/computer detects movement within the square it plays the sound. Depending how you move or how fast you move changes the tonality & tempo.

Of course, these two did not totally understand the principle...big empty room, lots of colorful lights and music. It has to be fun.
Mary, on the other-hand tested out the principles on a much smaller scale. The small computers around the room that allowed her to assign sounds to different zones along this white pad. Then through motion detection she could create her own piece of music.

After our train ride, the girls asked if we could walk down to the outdoor wildlife/nature area. I had not planned on it as it is a bit of a walk and this time of year it can be so hot that you might not see the animals. But, they wanted to and I could tell that it would be much less crowded than returning to the museum.

I guess the lower temps and humidity also brought the animals out to play.
These bear cubs are about Robbie's age. We watched them for about 20 minutes romping around, wrestling and climbing on the tree to the left. Mary found the video screen and camera controller and spent most of the time operating that, even after I told her it was much more fun to watch with her eyes.
Over at the pond, the kids fooled around with the various hands-on displays; paddling like a duck, swimming like a tadpole, setting up rocks and sand along a model river to show how objects can flow along a river to a pond. Here Katie and Robbie are matching animal sounds with pictures.
The shy red wolves were actually out and about today, pacing along the fence line in their habitat. These are special pups, the first red wolves born in captivity in NC in a long time. The museum is working with conservationists to help build back up the declining red wolf population.

After a stop by the Lemur habitat, who were having their mid-day nap, we moved on the the "Catch the Wind" exhibit. We had not actually made it to this exhibit since it opened. What a wonderful surprise. This is the place we cannot wait to get back to this fall.

The centerpiece of this exhibit is the sailing pond.
The small pond where you can interchange the sails and see how it affects how the sailboat moves across the water.

And, the big pond. Along the side are captain stations that allow you to steer one of the boats in the pond. Steering, sails in...sails out, all to see how well you can catch the wind.
There were several other smaller areas, like this one which talks about how some insects have wings that are made to catch and use the wind. Mary is experiencing what it might be like to be a giant, metal dragonfly.
After about three hours of sun, crowds and a lot of sensory input we were all ready to pack it in and head home for a nap. We made a quick stop back at the main museum for a few promised minutes in the "Play & Learn" area. Robbie made friends with this large stuffed horse and decided to take it for a ride. "Home, boy, home."


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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.