Thursday, May 19, 2005

Kids and Science

I took the older three kids to Science World today, an impromptu trip that went quite smoothly, probably due to the fact that this is the longest stretch of time that's passed since the last time I took them there. I used to take the kids often on Sundays, and sometimes we'd go a few Sundays in a row.

We left the twins at home with Cheryl, who was breaking in her very first pair of contact lenses this morning and was still feeling strange having things on her eyes. Michael had to take a bathroom break during the long journey to the Big Ball of Science, but we managed to get in and out of a McDonald's that had a playplace without the kids asking for food and only the teeniest of whines about joining the other kids in the play area. Parents of small children will appreciate what a laudable event this is.

As we found with the Aquarium, visiting during the week makes an ENORMOUS difference in terms of crowds. Before, I could only take the kids on the weekends, and sometimes the zoo-like atmosphere just added to their hyperactivity. This is the least busy I have ever seen Science World, and the kids didn't have to compete with larger children for stations or terminals or exhibits. The upside for me is that I can find them MUCH more easily, without having to scan all the little heads bobbing and weaving around the galleries.

They found their favourite spots, like the parachute drop and the perspective room, but I noticed some new things and small changes since the switch of major corporate sponsorship from Alcan to Telus. It's still probably my favourite kids-oriented facility in the city, and no matter how many times we go, one of the highlights of our visits are the frequent shows at centre stage. I must've seen at least a dozen different demonstrators for science shows on electricity and air and motion, and they're all very engaging, show after show.

I wasn't the only one cultivating a relationship between kids and science this week. On Monday, David's Civil Air Patrol squadron held an Aerospace Day at a local elementary school of 950 children, which was reported to be a rip-roaring success:

Aerospace Day III

This could be construed as "practice" for having kids one day, or David and I could just be two big kids who love science. Or both.