We recently visited the Fleet Science Center to see the temporary exhibit, Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Meteors and Asteroids. My kids love all things space and were excited for this exhibit. They were not disappointed. The exhibit is pretty high-tech with a number of interactive exhibits to learn about where they come from, what they are made of, what the risks are that they may hit earth and more. At first I thought it was too high-tech and not enough hands-on, but when I saw my kids listening and participating in the activities, I knew they were getting more out of it than if they were left to read all the information. They are good readers, but would rather do and see than read detailed explanations. They learned a lot with the tools that were provided.
One of the activities is to view two pictures of the stars taking hours apart. You use the keys to line up the two pictures and then “blink” between the two pictures to see the one object that moved during those hours. That one object must be an asteroid since the stars don’t move. Another area gives you the chance to figure out which rocks are from earth and which are from space by testing for magnetism in each rock. It is trickier than you think! You can choose the size of a comet or asteroid and an area of earth it might hit and get an idea of how large an area would be affected by such a collision. Inside a pod, the kids enjoyed being explorers-in-training. I loved hearing all the facts they had learned about comets and asteroids as they “trained”!
The exhibit is at the Fleet Science Center until April 28, 2013, so don’t miss it! For even more information about the cosmos, view the new digital show Cosmic Collisions showing at the Science Center until June 30, 2013. You will learn about the birth of the moon, how scientists could divert an asteroid headed towards earth, and what will happen in the future when galaxies collide. Tickets are an additional cost. More information here. You can also join the Fleet Science Center’s local astronomy happenings on April 3rd at 7 and 8:15 p.m. about Hubble’s Discoveries or May 1st at 7 and 8:15 p.m. about How We Know Our Place in the Universe.
This is the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s 40th Anniversary! The center has a great line up of additional activities to enjoy with your kids. Check all the dates and fun here. Remember, you can reserve a 2-week pass at your local library for free admission!