Science Center of Minnesota

July 29, 2018

The Science Center was AWESOME! We could have easily spent three or more days there.

One of John’s favorite sights was this giant astronaut. He said it reminded him of the Sta-puft Marshmallow in the first Ghostbusters movie.

Gigantic Astronaut

One set of stairs that we had to use played music as you went from step to step. Chloe being Chloe, we had to spend lots of time making music, and tiring us older folks out. Chloe could have bee-bopped her way up and down those stairs for hours.

The museum even made geology fun. Take a look at this “breakfast” plate, a true breakfast of champions. They have a barter desk where you can bring natural wonders and treasures and trade them in for somebody else’s wonders. The desk is manned and they negotiate the worth of the items. From what we saw, the kids (and adults) always got a deal good enough to let them find something new and different to take home.

Breakfast rocks

Chloe loved this exhibit that demonstrated watershed topography. By rearranging mounds of sand you can change the landscape and see how that affects the flow of water. If you held your hand just right (like a cloud over the landscape, you could make it “rain” and blue would trickle across the land and flow toward the oceans. See, science can be fun!

Watershed topography – make it rain

Another of John’s favorite exhibits was this mummy. (I worry about him sometimes.)

Mummy

I just hope he didn’t pay too close attention to how to mummify someone.

DIY Mummy Instructions (do not try this at home)

In a nutshell here are the steps (details omitted):

  1. Remove the brain
  2. Take out organs
  3. Wash body
  4. Dry body
  5. Rub body with oils
  6. Wrap body
  7. Add a mask

With a few exceptions (removing brain and organs) it’s not that different than a good spa day. Except you’re dead.

Chloe is our budding scientist, with hopefully less macabre interests than John. Here she is with her assistant, Grandma, doing an experiment.

They are testing different products to see which ones are best at killing bacteria. Guess what? That hand sanitizer, the product that kills 99.9999999999% of germs, doesn’t. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. One of the best…basic hand soap.

The Nobel Prize is as good as hers.

Germ killing Lab – Hand sanitizer failure

John was also fascinated by a large exhibit of fake medical devices – past and present. Maybe he’s looking at ways to supplement our retirement income. Or get three squares a day in a ten by ten foot cell for the rest of his life! One really impressive looking gadget was the Electro-Metabograph. Lots of cool knobs, meters, and dials to impress prospective… victims… I mean patients.

This device had absolutely no working circuitry. Needles may have wobbled and lights may have flashed but that’s it. If a “patient” actually felt better it was due to the placebo effect.

Electro-Metabograph

They had a wonderful dinosaur exhibit too. In addition to the “usual” big dinosaur skeletons, they had exhibits of well-preserved prehistoric fish, stingrays, and the like.

Camptosaur and Allosaur skeletons fight over dinner

On our way out we had to take a detour to see this giant bronze iguana. The three of us used to volunteer at a school science lab and its mascot was a real chill green iguana named Drupal. He was a real crowd-pleaser. He even has own Twitter account @drupaltheiguana – check him out!

Iggy, the giant bronze Iguana

There were way more exhibits than we could cover including the science of sports and the science of race. We can say without a doubt that all the three of us would love to go back someday and spend as much time as needed to really experience it all.

H & J

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