Sunday, July 24, 2011


Hands on science:  having fun while learning.  Thus is the idea behind the Exploratorium.  It may be directed at kids, but aren't we all kids at heart, even if we have a bit bigger body to experiment with?

The Exploratorium is located at the Palace of the Arts, which happens to be an incredible building.
Yes, I'm slouching. But look how big the urn is!
There are more experiments to play with than you could imagine.  One area is dedicated to magnetic fields, another to biological science, yet another area deals with sound, space, etc.  The current exhibit at the Exploratorium is Color.  It was fun to play with light and how colors change (and do everything you can imagine with color).

A modified polygraph was interesting.  It measured excitement levels in the body.  What's the most embarrassing thing I can ask you about in front of this crowd of people...?  I also talked to a computer program (Daisy) that was just learning language... it wasn't too thrilling.  I think she could have been programmed better.  She liked to repeat herself.   There was also a special activity of dissecting a cow's eye.  How cool is that?  And creating a functioning motor.  And a forever walking slinky.  And...and... I managed to take pictures of a few stations.

Ever thought about how different colors change your mood?  Let's find out...
Blue (becoming purple) is soothing

Red makes you anxious/excited

Purple!..I dunno...

Let's create a magnetic field and project it on a screen, shall we?
Can you tell I'm attempting to take a picture?
How about making different colors with light?
Oooh, special disappearing tubes...

And my personal favorite:  The unattainable spring.  There is a light that shines in this little box in the wall.  Okay, what's so cool about that, you say.  Well, try to grab it.  It looks like it's right there in front of you.  But it's not.  Your hand goes right through it.  No, no, it's not a ghost.  This is a science museum, after all.  Not the unexplainable.  Geez.  It's just a trick!

Hint:  If you walk around the corner and look into the other window, you can see where the spring is located...and the concave mirror that reflects it to look like it's right in front of you.

Space-y type stuff was towards the end.  There was a satellite orbit simulation, which is cool, until you jet off into space or crash into earth, (zero gravity?  I didn't hit the zero gravity button...).  To further explore, dry ice demonstrates the way asteroids move...

Pretty, isn't it?  All the twirling...

Anyway, to sum it up, the Exploratorium was fun.  Definitely something to do with the kids that's educational as well as time consuming, but fun for adults, too.

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