Monday, January 7, 2013

Fun Day Out

We had a very fun day of learning and fun at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.  We went with some good friends and neighbors who had the week off from their school, and with our wonderful babysitter Leah.  We got to go through the Titanic Exhibit, which was amazing and thought-provoking (we weren't allowed to take any pictures).  Olivia, in particular, loved the Titanic Exhibit because the museum staff gave each of the kids a ticket with a real passenger's name on it, including what class ticket they bought, and where they were from, etc.  

At the end of the exhibit, you got to see if your passenger survived the disaster or not.  Very poignant.  Probably a bit too much for the littles, but Olivia and her good friend were really into it and I think got the full impact of how sad it all really was.

The boys were really happy that we visited the physics section afterwards, as you can see below.  Here they are launching rockets after pumping up air pressure.  Cool!  

Nicholas played around with some gears.  He is so mechanical.

Then we went on to the human biology section.  Here the kids are getting their heart rates up.  The faster they pedal, the louder the "opera singers" on the TV screens sing.  We must have spent more than an hour here, seeing how much blood is in each of our bodies, climbing through the enormous model of the human heart, looking at a model of open-heart surgery, etc.  Fun times.

Of course, ever the Numismatist, Nicholas fund his way to a coin exhibit.  This one asks "which one is the real penny?  After getting out a penny from his pocket, he figured it out...

After lunch, we got to see an experiment with liquid nitrogen, and learn all about heating and cooling and how that causes expansion and contraction.  The science teacher shrank balloons, cooled off a bouncy ball so much that it shattered when he dropped it, and just plain showed off (to our delight).  So much fun!

Ellie loved it so much she almost charged the poor Science Dude.

I can't believe I was afraid I would not make my goal of 5 field trips this year (I am a little bit of a homebody):  we've already exceeded this goal in January!  Its so much easier to motivate myself to plan ahead for these days when I see how much fun the kids have, and how easily they learn, when they are interacting with the subject.  And I don't even have to sign-up to be a school chaperone!

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