Great Lakes Science Center

Dean takes a moment to pose in a space suit.

We spent a few hours today at the Science Center. We keep a family membership because there is always enough new or even old that is interesting or challenging. It is a good way to spend several hours to half a day.

Today we took Signe’s brother and his children with us. We started out making airplanes out of sturdy paper, dowels, and hot glue. One of Signe’s brother’s kids had a record plane when they launched them with rubber bands. At one time the plane was stuck high up in the corner of the wall and a concrete support it went so far. Everyone enjoyed making the airplanes, even if not all of them flew very well.

Each of the kids participated in the egg drop where they spent time constructing a protective structure of their choosing out of various types of materials. The idea was to drop the egg inside the container from at least a 50 foot drop and see if the egg survives. One of the items we had to work with was plastic grocery bags which make rather nice parachutes when attached with yarn to a carriage of some sort. I helped Dean with his project. We suspended a dixie cup with several strands of yarn inside of a larger structure built with straws and coffee filters. To the top we attached a plastic grocery bag. Dean’s idea was that the top coffee filter would be the first parachute and the grocery bag the second one. After dropping the contraption the system worked perfectly. After about a 1/3rd of the way near free-fall on the coffee filter parachute the grocery bag caught the air and opened perfectly. The entire structure hit the ground rather hard, but the yarn holding the suspended egg acted like springs and absorbed the shock of the landing. We were quite proud that the egg did not break, in spite of the fact that we didn’t completely enclose the egg in protective materials like many other people.

Dean is using blocks to create designs and structures by repeating a pattern according to instructions.

Pierce is using mirrors and reflection to create a pattern of several to many repeating shapes based on the angle of the mirrors.

Dean and Pierce both found time to do many other challenging and engaging activities. Their cousins also enjoyed the experience, and everyone came away with many stories to tell. We came home and enjoyed watching the first Home Alone movie. It was a very enjoyable day.

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