Jr. FLL Lego League expo at the museum

fll lego copyThe museum is excited to host its third Junior First Lego League expo event. The Junior FLL is a youth program to foster interest in science and innovation by designing Lego robot models to solve real-life problems.

Local teams that participated in the Think Tank challenge in late 2014 will have the chance to showcase their robots and project demonstrations. The Lego robotics celebration will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015  from 10:00-12.00 at the museum.

If your team is interested in signing up, more info can be found in the registration packet below or by contacting Debbie at DFandrei@bgparks.org. Registration and a $30 team fee (covers certificates and medals for each team member) is required for participation. If you’re just interested in seeing neat Lego robotics, this event is free and does not require registration so just stop in and check it out!

Junior FLL Registration sheet-2015

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Science museum field trip: or how I learned to stop worrying and love germs

Tornado demonstration

Slightly blurry tornado demonstration

As an adult working in a museum, I’m an annoying museum visitor. I just can’t relax and enjoy the big picture experience. I over-analyze content choices and evaluate the effectiveness of text fonts, lighting, and collection care elements. Then, there’s my germ phobia…

It’s been many, many years since my last visit to the Museum of Science and Industry and the museum has updated significantly. My ten-year-old self remembered it as being kind of lame, noisy, and full of interactive stations covered in germs. However, I enjoyed this most recent trip (even with all the kid germs). The museum could still do with some hand sanitizer stations.

The museum has tons of impressive hands-on activities in each exhibit area. Sometimes that means only children interact with them. However, these were so engaging and sophisticated, many activities were being used solely by adults. I sat at an interactive table with five other adults and we played two rounds of a game about consumer habits. Somewhere, there’s a room of cheering exhibit designers happy about engaging both kids and adults with the same interactive components. The museum’s hands-on activities definitely enhance the experience to make science appealing and accessible.

Image courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

Image courtesy Museum of Science and Industry

The highlight of my museum visit was the Treasures of the Walt Disney Vault temporary exhibit. As someone who grew up on a steady diet of Disney, it worth the extra $10 entrance fee for the nostalgia factor alone. You don’t need to be a kid or Disney geek to enjoy the exhibit, though. It focused on Walt Disney’s groundbreaking technical achievements in animation and featured some very neat props and costumes from a variety of movies. Sure, there was one giant panel devoted (or pandering, depending on your perspective) to Frozen, but it showcased the technical aspects of animating the film.

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Do you want to draw a snowman?

The Disney Academy drawing session that ran every twenty minutes was surprisingly fun, too. The benches were filled by an equal number of adults without children and children with their adults learning to draw Olaf the Snowman.

So if you haven’t been to the Museum of Science and Industry lately, I heartily recommend a visit. All of the exhibits seemed to strike the right balance to engage both kids and adults. The Disney exhibit only runs through January 4.

The Fuzzy Pink Bunnies of Doom are coming…

838659The museum is excited to announce a temporary community exhibit featuring The Fuzzy Pink Bunnies of Doom that opens in May. The Bunnies of Doom are a group of six talented girls from the northwest suburbs that make up a Lego robotics team. The group competes in the Junior First Lego League, a youth program to foster interest in science and innovation. At recent events, the Bunnies of Doom took home awards for Technical Design at the Rockford regional Senior Solutions competition and team spirit at the Senior Solutions state tournament. The museum exhibit will show off the team’s projects and introduce visitors to the dazzling world of Lego robotics. But wait, there’s more!

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The museum will also be hosting a Lego robotics celebration on Saturday, May 4 from 9.30-12.00 showcasing robots and project demonstrations from the Bunnies and other local teams that participated in the Super Senior tournaments this year. If your team is interested, more info can be found in the flyer below or by contacting Debbie at DFandrei@bgparks.org. Registration and a $30 team fee (covers certificates and medals for each team member) is required for participation. If you’re just interested in seeing neato Lego robots, this event is free and does not require registration so stop in and check it out!

Junior FLL Registration sheet-1

Registration form

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Lego Celebration event schedule

Kites!

Kites are flying high in the museum’s new summer exhibit in the lower gallery.  Find out how kites helped to win World War II, advanced science, changed sports, shaped cultures around the world, and more! If you’re feeling inspired after all that, you can even make your own kite to fly.

This exhibit is free and only runs from June 1 to August 15th, so don’t wait!