Our first big field trip of the new year was to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, an incredible and brand new museum right in the heart of downtown Dallas. There is so much to see at this museum! I don't think you can do it all justice with just a one-day visit. The museum itself is an architectural wonder...one of the highlights for some of the kids was the escalators that go up the side of the building:
We had a group of about 35 that met us there, and we also had scheduled a Lego: Simple Machines class for while we were there. Our teacher was an adult who never wanted to grow up...and now he gets to play with Legos all day long. He was perfect for the group!
The kids enjoyed talking about what a simple machine is, what it does, and where they might be found. Then they were set free with a set of Legos and a set of plans to build their own machines.
They started with a lever, moved onto a wedge, and finished with a gear assembly.
Then they were allowed to make up their own creations or pick from more elaborate plans. The kids LOVED their time in the Lego room.
We had a picnic lunch outside (thankfully the weather was PERFECT!). There were so many of us, and so many public school groups there too, that we ended up splitting up a little during lunch. The kids enjoyed the outside area of a stream, pond, frogs and huge musical instruments while they ran around during our lunch break.
My favorite exhibit inside the museum was the human body hall. They have slices of human bodies, head to foot...one of the most incredible things I've ever seen.
All of the kids really enjoyed the engineering hall, where they could program robots, play computers that controlled musical instruments, build roads and create a light show. It was hard to leave that area!
Other fun highlights were the dinosaur area and the bonus bird level. The kids loved being able to 'build their own bird' as they worked their way through the kiosks.
In the weather area, the boys enjoyed being weather forecasters, reading off of a tele-prompter and seeing themselves on screen.
The sports hall might have been our favorite, even though our time there was cut short as we had to step outside to give a friend with a dead battery a jump-start. They have a motion room where they film you while you attempt a sports move, then they send your video to a computer where you can watch it in slow motion. You can also play a video side-by-side of a professional athlete doing the same move, to compare. So fun! The kids enjoyed the race track, where you can be timed while you race against your friend as well as a cheetah, a dinosaur, or a professional athlete on screen. Seriously fun to watch!
We left without exploring all of the exhibits, but we hope to have the chance to go again soon! Maybe we won't have such a big group next time, however. ;)
We had some friends riding along with us (Sarah, Haven and Kate). On the way home, the six children in our car were getting a little restless and wild, so we stopped at a nice rest area to run around. That helped, and we were able to end the day on a really fun note!
Field trips are so fun, and exploring the world with friends is the best!