Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Star Wars at the Indiana State Museum

A few weeks ago, we trekked up to the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis to get our nerd on at their traveling exhibit, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination:

It featured actual props and costumes used in the films.


Darth Vader is choking them with his mind, you see.

There were also detailed models that were filmed super-close-up as the real, giant ships:

Sydney is bigger than a Jawa!

I am NOT as big as a sand person:

I'm also not as big as a Wookie--

--but that's okay. They like me anyway.

Yoda likes me a lot, too:

The science aspects of the exhibit came through a series of hands-on stations, from stuff that we'd done before but were happy to do again, such as traveling on compressed air--

--("It's pneumatic!" she said!), to amazing experiences that we had never before had. I'm a hands-on museum aficionado, I tell you, and these activities floored me. The kids interacted with computers and real-life manipulatives to create virtual spaces:

They compiled robots from parts and put them through various scenarios to evaluate their performances. They built models to succeed in challenging structural conditions. And, coolest of all, they used LEGOs to build electromagnetically powered hover cars:

Remember how museums never stock what I want to buy? I'd have bought myself one of those hovercar kits, that's for damn sure.

I've been really thinking about encouraging the maths and hard sciences with my girls this year, thanks in no small part to this exhibit. Now that Syd's older, I think that this would be a great year to accelerate their math and get them going on some engineering, physics, and programming projects.

Perhaps we WILL be making electromagnetic hovercars...


Tina said...

I love your blog, though I sometimes feel like a big slacker. Then I remember that my child has close to zero interest in anything other than horses and realize, that I am doing exactly what my child needs.

Of course, once I am done my degree, I might look into learning some of the things you and the girls are learning about, just for me!

julie said...

There are a lot of really cool things to learn involving horses. It could definitely be worse; I know a kid who used to be obsessed with NASCAR.