Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Historical Science

"Your kids will love the Science Museum!" touted all the guide books. "They'll never want to leave!"

I was expecting a very hands-on, activity filled museum, because even our tiny little science museum in Nashville is practically all hands-on activities. There were some such things at the museum here in London, but it was actually more of a museum of the history of science with tons of artifacts than a "run through, pull on pulleys, maybe learn a little science" kind of museum. I was surprised by how "museum-y" it was really.

Which is not to say that it isn't interesting or that there is nothing for kids to do, but it wasn't as exciting as I'd expected and my children weren't as thrilled by it as the guide books predicted.

We did see a one of a kind car -- Jet1 -- a gas turbine car that one had to wonder if Ian Fleming was thinking of when he wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang about a one of a kind car with the license plate Jen11. We saw some interesting genetically mutated animals -- like cats with too many toes and frogs with too many legs. I was excited to see an 1970s era HP programmable calculator like my father's first one that cost a fortune and was huge and clunky, but so cool for its time. We also had a nice chat with some old geezers working on fixing one of the old computers that used paper tape (instead of punch cards) for its programs. Tons to see and for a free museum, it was more than worth the entrance price.

There were a few things I did not like at all though. When my son piped up, "What's euthanasia?" as I was pushing them past an display on the subject. On the section on the history of plastic, I found the Bakelite interesting, the plastic coffin cool and the first colorful plastics fascinating. I did not think having to distract my children's attention away from the case with the female c*nd*ms nearly so enchanting.

So basically, my review -- the Science Museum is ok. The Natural History Museum next door is much more interesting.

1 comment:

Henrietta said...

Did you try the Launch Pad and the bit downstairs called something like the Garden - our infants love it. Tho I suppose it depends on what your standard museum at home is like!
We esp like the top floor medicial exhibition where you can "watch" open heart surgery, etc.

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