"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

 Friday we took the kids to the Museum of Discovery in Fort Collins.  There was a lot to see and do there, beginning with a piano outside.

 They had some beautiful irises outside.  Not many of them, but the ones they had were very pretty.

There are so many hands on experiments for the kids to do.

This was the ten year old's favorite part - a wall with magnetic sections of pipe that could be moved around in any configuration imaginable, and little balls to run the courses.

 The three two year olds (with a little help from my sister) lifted a piano ;)

Then the ten year old tried.  The rope was on a slide that could move closer to the piano or farther away.  We secretly moved it farther away before letting him try :)

But my two year old was pretty sure he could do it alone.

The museum has a music theme, and everything was hands on.

 This was cool.  It was like a stretched out guitar. The striped part was a wheel that you spin, then strum the strings.
 You could see the vibrations of the strings very clearly.

This was pretty cool  The dial turned and hit the circles, which were bells of different sizes.  They could be moved around and arranged however you like.

I liked that the museum had a lot for all ages to do.

There were lots of science experiments that did things I've been planning to do anyway.

This was one of those.  It was a tank of water that reacted to sound waves.  The kids all liked that.  I had found a similar experiment online and was thinking about doing it sometime, but now I don't have to :)

 So we have a little bit of training to do on how to play a horn.  Ha.  But look at the five year old's expression.  He has been talking about wanting to play a trumpet for weeks - and finally had his chance.  Didn't get a picture, but he was ecstatic.

Seeing sound waves in little white plastic pellets.

The dial the two year old was turning changed the frequency of the sound.

The museum has a lot more than just musical stuff.  Here is a bison display.

And the framework of a beaver lodge the kids can climb into.

 They also have displays of what the beaver eats.

This wall was very cool - thousands of silver disks mounted to the wall, and a bunch of fans you can point at the wall to make the disks shimmer.  There is even a windmill you can power yourself.

Here's an old coin operated gas pump.  The ten year old asked me if I had a coin - ha.

At this station, the ten year old pedaled a stationary bike and the skeleton mirrored his movements, so he could see what his own skeleton was doing.

 The gears on this wall are magnetic, so they stick to the wall and you can configure them however you want.

Notice that as the five year old's gear arrangement grows, the two year old's shrinks.  The five year old was trying to build his but kept taking the ones connected to the two year old's assembly.  Oh well, he didn't seem to mind, and it wasn't being done maliciously.

They had a display with some taxidermy work inside a tank that held live black footed ferrets.  It was endangered species day, so this was a special display.  We never did see the ferrets because they are nocturnal and were sleeping.  You'd think that would have occurred to them before they built a big fancy display for use in a museum open only during the daytime.

This was another favorite spot.  Giant foam blocks.  The five year old built most of this. He said it was a snowmachine.

And then there was the Wyoming chamber... oh, I mean the Tornado Chamber.

I hate that this is blurry, but I love the five year old's expression here.  He didn't stay in there long, but he did like it.

This was another fun favorite.  The tubes blow air, and the balls balance in the air.

The lever he's holding with his right hand controls the force of the air.

This was one of those motion sensing light projected things.  Each circle showed the picture of a different musical instrument (mostly drums) and when you hit the table, it would make that sound.

They had several real instruments too, which was pretty cool.

And this was a lot of fun.  Each block had a code on it and when it was placed on the table, it made a sound - depending on where it was in relation to the other blocks.  It was very interesting to play with.
They had drum sets...

... guitars, and basses that could all be played in their own little rooms.

This circle seat was a great place to kick back for a bit and relax.  The two year old looks like he needs a nap - ha.  The five year old is playing with the apps on the tablet.  All of them are music related, and there are speakers on the inside of the chair, so you can listen in surround sound.

They had a bunch of different apps. I'm going to have to search for some to use with him.  He spent at least 20 minutes in this chair.

This one was called Harmonics, and sounded like a pipe organ.

The two year old was more into the xylophones.  He played them very well, hitting them just like he was supposed to, and stayed with it until we forced him to move on.

 Here we are back at the trumpet table again.  They had a bunch of pieces you could hook together to make your own instrument too.  (They had sterilized mouth pieces available too, in case you were worried.)

This color wall was pretty cool.  The light table is covered with plastic pieces of all colors, and the arched mirror top makes an amazing display.

 Here's a better look at the windmill you power yourself.

...and the wall of disks.

 This was a great way for the kids to play with color, but unfortunately they were tired and fought over the dials instead of understanding what they were doing. Each of the three slides represented a primary color - red, yellow, and blue.  The levers slide so you can choose all of a color, or none of it, and the wall in front of you changes accordingly.  Very cool.

These jars are filled with metal shavings, and the black pieces on the posts are magnets.

And this just showed how water magnifies images.  The rocks under this table look huge, but they're actually quite small.

They have a few live animals too, including this gecko.

I was surprised by how fat his tail was.  They also have scorpions, a tarantula, a snake, etc.
 There is also a "backyard" but not anything much really.  I think they're not done with it yet.

This playhouse was out there, but roped off.  It will be cool once it is set up.

One of the highlights for the five year old (apart from the trumpets) were the stereoscopes.  He kept returning to them.