Weird Science

1 08 2006

This past sunday, we managed to get free passes to the Arizona Science Center in Downtown Phoenix. I thought this would be a great family activity, and packed everyone up for a fun fill day of family learning.

We arrived early, which was a good thing because after we left, the line was extremely long to get into the building. Upon our arrival, I couldn’t help but feel the similarities between this trip and the numerous trips I and my brothers took with my parents to Disneyland and other amusement parks in California each summer.

The Arizona Science Center offers many exhibits that let kids play and hopefully lets them learn in the process. I was so glad to see Eliana wondering between exhibits and trying things out. She is still very young, however, I hope to encourage her sence of wonder about the world with visits to science and technology centers such as this.

Along with the vast halls of exhibits, there were also live demonstrations of science presented in a way that helps to keep kids interested. I made it a point to attend the liquid nitrogen demonstraiton. Eliana is still far too young to learn any of the technical details concerning the elementary states of matter. Still, I could see that she had an interest at least in the presenter, because from my viewpoint of Eliana, she seemed very attentive. There came a point in the demonstration where the presenter froze a raquetball, and then slammed it against a brick, shattering it into pieces upon impact. After the demo was over, Eliana ran to the front to try to play in the cloud of liquid nitrogen the presenter poured in front of the kids. Since it was a full house, Eliana could not get to the front quick enough before the cloud disappeared. She saw a piece of the broken raquetball and the presenter offered it to her. She kept it all day long as a treasure. I asked if I could hold it and she said “No”.

In all, I think the visit to the science center was one of the best things we have done as a family so far. I had a lot of fun taking Eliana to exhibits similar to those I had see and played with when I was a kid. I also have fun playing with some of the exhibits myself. The most rewarding part of all of it for me was that Eliana recieved her first glimpse of the world of science, and seems to enjoy it as much as I do.




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