Everyone I talked to, especially those at NIBR, said I absolutely had to go visit the Museum of Science in Boston. So I got a day pass from NIBR and walked my way over to the museum.
Needless to say, the place was absolutely great. There were exhibits on the human body; lectures on energy and our growing need for sources of fuel to propel the growth of our societies; exhibits on electricity; an exhibit on human evolution; and
among many other things, activities intended to get kids thinking about science and asking questions! I loved it, and am only sorry there wasn't enough time for me to see and do all I wanted to do.
But!!! I couldn't help it...
There were several groups from elementary schools in the
surrounding areas, and I could not have lived with myself had I not done this: I had a teaching moment. For a good hour or so, I used one of the exhibits to teach the kiddos about torque, weight, simple machines, and forces. At one point, I even made a game of it and was "beat." It cost me a bit, but I'm glad some of the kids learned something from working with two weights of the same mass - or two masses of the same weight (depending on your linguistic preference), and then from balancing the "seesaw" working with entirely different masses on either side of the fulcrum. Of course, I was tickled by the fact that several of the kids already knew what was going on behind the scenes, and even more so by the fact that a good number of them seemed actually interested in what we were doing!
I hope I didn't irritate any of the people who work at the museum. And if I did: oh well, at least some kids learned something interesting.
(Photograph of "Museum of Science" by Lyos)