Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Out West 2014: Science Center of Iowa

We stopped a little more than halfway through our slog to South Dakota to spend a morning in Des Moines at the Science Center of Iowa, an ASTC passport member (so our visit was free!). I have been to a LOT of hands-on science museums in the last decade, so I was particularly impressed that the Science Center of Iowa didn't have a ton of exhibits identical to every other science center in America (SO wearying to walk into a museum and find a tornado tunnel, a bicycle wheel centrifuge, an earthquake platform, and a giant bubble maker), but instead had plenty of stuff that we've never done before quite in this way:
ferrofluid
spinning disc that you can roll wheels across--so fun!
planetarium jukebox--you collate your own planetarium show, then go watch it IN the planetarium!
okay, every science museum DOES have this, but I still like it!
stations to make and test your own paper rocket--Syd spent AGES here! 
Even the ubiquitous green screen had its own spin--the local TV station has a satellite office for their meteorologist in the museum--



--and every day at noon she lets the children join her while she gamely attempts her live forecast over their excited heads!

Here's what the local TV viewers would have seen--I imagine they could have deciphered their forecast fairly well over the chaos:

It was officially the first of MANY road trip highlights!

Spots update: Still no word. I'm still trying to do productive things every day to help her get home if she can--yesterday I made a big yard sign, thanks to Tina's suggestion, left flyers around our old neighborhood and at our old house--
--and put a flyer on my car, and today already I've left more flyers out on the far west side of town at the kids' riding stable--but I'm also making an effort to let the children distract me from my grief, because as healthy as sadness is, I don't want them to see me sad all day. So in this free week before I start up school again next week, we've had jump rope, and Tinkerbell, and board games, and eternally more unpacking. I've started lesson plans, researching paleontology and pioneer history and rearranging grammar and Latin, and set a meeting time to talk with an instructor at the kids' riding stable about starting an inclusive Pony Club--how cool would that be?!?

And if maybe I spend some time daydreaming about how, if we find Spots, I'll throw her a party with a two-layer canned cat food cake with crunchy kibble on top, and I'll sponsor the adoption of an adult cat at the Humane Society in her name, and I'll plant a catnip garden that is solely for her use and enjoyment, well, that's still probably more useful than the weird, fanfictiony things that I usually daydream about.

2 comments:

Tina said...

It's a little sad, but we lived 45 minutes North of Des Moines, but we never made it to this museum. Glad you had fun!

Pony Club? How exciting! We may have finally found another trainer for Emma. We meet her tomorrow.

We keep sharing Spots' info. I can't imagine what you are going through. We are sending "The Incredible Journey" thoughts your way.

julie said...

I AM really excited about Pony Club! It would be wonderful for the kids to have a horsey sort of club, especially since 4-H didn't work out so well.

I've heard several stories lately from people who've had pets missing for a while and then come home. It's comforting.

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