Alright. I fell for it. I just thought I was taking fingerprints in the Crime Lab. But the MSI folks had something else in mind. And when we were hanging pennies from a Slinky? Yep, they got me then too. Or how about when I was challenged to build a loop-the-loop track for a marble? Same thing.
What was it?
Before today, I had no idea how much education actually took place within the museum. I knew that the exhibits were chock-full of information but I never gave much thought to the classrooms. So today was centered around education at MSI. I started out by greeting students as they arrived on field trips (who knew handing out silly bands could make a person so popular) and then joined a middle school group in the Crime Lab. We lifted fingerprints (dusting with metal powder and using superglue fumes), analyzed evidence with chromatography and compared fibers to help us solve a whodunit mystery. The kids loved it. While I'm 20 years older than target demographic, I thought it was super-cool.
I then stopped by the Science Minors Club training workshop and a "Get Re-Energized" teacher course. Both programs are designed to give teachers and club sponsors the tools and training to teach science in interactive and innovative ways. And when I say "interactive", I mean explaining physics (Hooke's Law to be exact) with rubber bands, Slinkys, pennies and raw eggs. And you'll hear me mention the Science Minors Clubs later this month because we have a little friendly challenge. I'm competing against all the clubs to build a track for a marble incorporating the most loops. Winner takes all (and by "all", I mean a pizza party and a visit from me). So... I get a field trip and pizza out of the deal; sounds like a win-win if you ask me. (Bring it, Science Minors: it's on!)
In the evening was the Snoozeum where families can come and spend the night. I was part of the scavenger hunt so quite a few folks stopped by my cube to say "hi". It was fun to meet some kindred souls (you know: other people who think it's cool to sleep in museums). I answered "where do you sleep?" and "are you allowed to leave that box?" 342,639 times. And I handed out just as many silly bands.
To cap off the long day, while most people would wind down with a glass of wine or watch TV, I got to stand inside a tornado. You know, just a typical Friday night when you live at MSI.
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A digital marketing analyst from Chicago, Kevin is living inside the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere for 30 days.
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