Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Connecticut Family Science Expo

The whole family loaded up for a trip to Hartford a couple of weekends ago. We made a day-long visit to the Connecticut Public Televisions Family Science Expo. It's a yearly event that is like a science convention for kids. We watched two live stage performances: Dr. Quinton Quark and Bubblemania. Dr. Quinton Quark was horrendous as he introduced concepts and terms that only a high schooler would have a chance of understanding and proceeded to use them with a slap-dash explanation. Bubblemania was incredibly entertaining and my 13 year-old, eight year-old and five year-old all got big laughs out of it.

We saw a display of carnivorous plants from the UConn. Some of the pitcher plants had traps large enough that I would definitely refuse to live in a place where the pitchers could catch bugs that large.

NASA was also on hand. They demonstrated how to put on a space suit, gave away a lot of different posters, and much to my delight (though not so much to my kids), they had astronaut ice cream! Now we all remember that freeze-dried neopolitan selection that probably never made it into space. I think I remember getting some from the Smithsonian for an outrageous fee and here they were distributing samples for free! You'll be happy to know that it is just as dry and oddly textured as you remember from childhood--and it's still cool. The other NASA activities included having your disembodied photographed head placed into a setting of a space suit and making a pipe-cleaner bracelet from beads that change color when exposed to UV radiation.

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