Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Carnegie Science Museum

We planned a stop in Pittsburgh particularly to see the Carnegie Science Center, per M's request. Actually he had initially requested the Toronto Science Museum, but we vetoed that when we found out that the Toronto Grand Prix was the same day. So D looked up interactive science museums that might be along our path home. Pittsburgh was the best fit. And it was wonderful. Lived up to everyone's expectations, including the kids. Silly me, I had wondered what else we might do that day. Not a problem as we were at the museum from 10:30 am til 6:45 pm. We were there all but 45 min that the museum was open that day. And we still didn't get to see everything.

Interestingly, we didn't know that the All Star Fan Fest was going on in Pittsburgh that weekend. Maybe that was why the museum wasn't that crowded - or maybe because there is so much to do, that it never seems crowded. Whatever, but it was very nice. Equally nice was the fact that we got in free due to a reciprocal agreement with Fernbank Science Center (where we have a membership through the end of this month thanks to my mom).

They had a lot of really cool interactive exhibits. D says that it is much cooler than when he went as a kid (and the staff agrees - they say they have added a lot in the last 30 years).

They had a really cool exhibit with a restaurant booth where you could experience an earthquake. It was amazing. All I can say is, I'm glad I don't live with earthquakes. There was a whole lot of shakin' going on!

Here M is trying to build a earthquake proof structure.

Building one that is one story is fairy easy, but a 2 story structure that will withstand the earthshake quaking is much more difficult.

And here the kids are trying to make the volcano erupt. We never really managed it - I don't know if we needed to keep pumping longer, or if the exhibit wasn't working right.

We participated in the Bridge Builder's Challenge. It was a lot of fun. We did it as 2 teams - M and D were one team and A and I were the other. Our bridges looked pretty cool and did well compared to the ones that had been done last weekend, but later in the day others made even better bridges.

We also visited the Sports Museum. It is a separate building, but part of the same museum. They had really cool stuff like a rock climbing wall (M, A and I all tried it out - M did it 3 or 4 times). Rock climbing takes some different muscles than I normally use. I made it to the top of the medium wall, but the last bit was a challenge, as the rock jutted out up above me.

Unfortunately I have no pictures from the Sports Museum. I had my camera and extra batteries. So, when the camera quit, I changed out the batteries, but it still wouldn't work. So, I tried D's spare batteries -still no good. I was worried that the camera had had a serious malfunction. The next day I tried some new batteries straight from a new pack and all was good. That was really strange, though, that my (I thought) fully charged recylables and D's (he thought) new regular batteries were both dead. It's too bad, as there were some great picture opportunities.


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