Monday, February 1, 2010

Museum of Science and Industry Visit

We love going to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. It's sort of like going to Epcot without the thrill rides.

They have redone their human biology section and called it "YOU! The Experience" or something pretty much like that. It was chock full of interactive exhibits and games for the kids to try. It was their favorite of the sections we visited yesterday. They have a few "cut-away" dissections of human bodies on display; these remind me of the Body Works special exhibit that I never really wanted to go see (and didn't). Everything is a video game for kids these days. Oh well... Still, this was a really interesting, well done reworking of their old classic exhibit.

The special ticketed exhibit that was open at this time was their White House exhibit, with a bunch of memorabilia from White House functions through the years, and a history lesson to boot. The most interesting thing, to me, was the miniature version of the White House itself, where the rooms are accurately depicted in the White House proper and the East and West Wings. Tons of detail to look at in this model, where the front was a closed model and you'd have to look through the windows, but the back was cutaway so that you could look into the various rooms. Much of the memorabilia had a focus on the four presidents who lived in Illinois: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, and Obama.

The IMax show that we got to see was titled "The Human Body" and was a very well done, very educational film depicting the systems that make us "alive" in huge detail all around the viewers. My wife and I liked it a bit more than the kids, but we all thought it was interesting.

Another exhibit that I don't remember seeing before was the Art + Science = Architecture exhibit. In this one, an architect who has become a Lego artist has built several of the city's and the world's tallest buildings, as well as some planned buildings. The Lego models are displayed here along with facts about the buildings.

We finished our visit to the museum with the obligatory watching of the Swiss Jolly Ball exhibit, where a steel ball rolls through its paces on a track that takes it through buildings, up an elevator, on a ship ride, on a trolley ride, and along a bunch of track. For some reason kids (mine, and others) find this contraption mesmerizing. I referenced this pinball machine in one of my posts on things to use to fill an amusement park. Click the link above if you'd like to see a picture of it.

All in all, a very good day at the MSI.

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