I am a huge fan of the Museum of Science and Industry! Some of the best childhood memories from visits to the museum were the miniature train set-up, the international Christmas trees put up every holiday season, the baby chicks, and Colleen Moore’s dollhouse. Naturally, I have carried on this tradition with my own children. We have enjoyed many visits to MSI including the current Mythbusters Exhibit (more on that in a minute).
But…I was happy to discover that if we can’t make it to the museum, we can still get our science fix this summer delivered right to my inbox. MSI has come up with a way to make science fun at home throughout the summer with its MSI’s Summer Brain Games.
Summer Brain Games began on June 18th and offers eight weeks of suggestions for free experiments you can do at home. Each week has a “summery” science theme and an easy experiment appropriate for all ages. You may learn how to kick it up a notch during your next water balloon fight by learning about and making a catapult. Or, taking advantage of Chicago’s sunny summer days, you may learn about solar power.
Don’t worry that you are late in signing up! Upon registering, I received an email from MSI, that stated that the entire activity guide can be downloaded. As an added benefit, you receive a free general admission ticket to the museum. Sign up at MSI Summer Brain Games.
MSI Summer Brain Games….brings science to your Inbox! Plus-
• A Voucher for a FREE general admission ticket
• Weekly emails with tips on experiments and ways to play with science
• Each week, a winner will be chosen to receive a one year family membership to MSI
• A chance to win a family tech package including a notebook computer, iPad, and digital camera
Make an Effort to See Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition
You don’t have to be familiar with Discovery Channel’s successful series, Mythbusters to have a great time at Mythbusters : The Explosive Exhibition. In the television series, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman use their inquisitive minds and knowledge of special effects to bust or confirm myths using the scientific method. We did watch several episodes for fun before we went to the exhibit and they were really entertaining! They reenacted the "escape from Alcatraz" myth to see if it could be done. In another, they wanted to see if you could actually be blown off a "commode" with the right combination of cleaning supplies and firepower. You can easily watch one episode after another!
MSI’s Mythvbuster's exhibit was a great time for the whole family with hands on experiments to apply the “scientific method”- observation, measurement, and testing. There are about a dozen hands on experiments to try…my boys tested out the myth “do you stay drier in the rain if you run”? My daughter tested out “why buttered toast seems to land butter-side down”. Besides more experiments and props from the show, the most enjoyable was the live Mythbusting demonstration. An audience member is chosen to try to avoid a paintball shot! The exhibit will be in Chicago until September 3rd.
The Museum of Science and Industry is a great resource to help build interest in STEM fields. It is common knowledge that the US is falling behind in preparing children for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Many believe we are facing a shortage of engineers and scientists. It is yet another complicated educational issue. Besides changes in curriculum and its delivery, at its most basic is stimulating an interest in science among children.
What is your favorite exhibit – past or present at MSI? What are you doing to encourage your kids to have an interest in science? What does your school or community do to promote science? I am ready for your comments! Tweet, share, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Don't forget to subscribe to School Zone!