Rusty’s day at the Carnegie Science Center



For Rusty’s birthday celebration he requested we spend the day at the Carnegie Science Center. It is always a treat when a birthday falls on a Saturday and we have Toby home for the day. Since we have a membership to the science center (compliments of my parents in honor of Ozzie’s adoption day) it was a free birthday outing. 🙂

We arrived by mid-morning, soon after they opened. Upon arriving we discovered it to be more crowded than it usually is. At first I assumed it was due to the fact it was the weekend (we usually go when the crowds are in school) or the fact it was a rainy day, but we discovered there was more to the story. The crowds, we discovered, were due to an event taking place inside. The day was dedicated to encouraging girls to pursue careers in the science field, so the science center was filled with booths, sponsored by different science driven careers, that offered different fun activities and hand-outs.

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While working our way through the crowded lobby we heard a familiar voice…


Zoey, Ozzie’s biological sister, came flying through the crowd toward us. She was there with her girl scout troop. They were earning a badge. Both kids were thrilled by this impromptu meeting but sad they couldn’t spend the day together. Even though we try to get them together monthly they still struggle with the fact they were adopted into different homes and can’t live together.

She asked if she could spend the day with us, but it wasn’t going to work out. She had to stay with her girl scout troop and work on her badge, and we had a birthday to celebrate.

We made plans to get together in the next week or two, said our good-byes, and headed into the crowds toward the first exhibit.

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On the first floor of the science center they recently opened a new exhibit: “H2OH!”

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The boys taking a break on the specialized seating in the water exhibit.

They have done a beautiful job on this new exhibit that highlights water and river life in the Pittsburgh area.

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On the second floor there is the ROBOT exhibit. It is a neat area devoted to the history and future of robotics. Tyler’s favorite part is the basketball game that allows you to compete shot for shot with a robot. The statistics don’t lie…the robot is much better than the human competitors. 🙂

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At one of the display booths the kids discovered these cool cubes called, “cubelets.” These cubes magnetically connect to each other making circuits. There are battery cubes, light cubes, inverters, motion sensors, etc. The kids spent 30 minutes playing with these.

Hmmm…Perhaps a possible future birthday gift? 🙂IMG_3384

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At another display booth the kids had the opportunity to make their own lip gloss. The boys passed this booth up but the girls stopped and each made one. They could choose their scent, color and whether they wanted sparkles or not.

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The finished lip glosses, set to harden.

Because it was Rusty’s birthday he got to choose the events of the day, deciding if we attended any of the free science classes offered throughout the science center. When we arrived he looked at the schedule of events and circled the classes he was most interested in: “Robots,” “Fruit Flambe'” and “High Voltage.”

In the “High Voltage” class we learned about electricity and saw multiple displays of static electric charges.


Ozzie volunteered to be part of the show even though it meant getting shocked.

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The “Fruit Flambe'” class took place in the science kitchen. In this class the kids learned about the three elements needed to create fire, and did so through the fun task of making a fruit flambe’.

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The best part of the class was the taste testing at the end! 🙂

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After a fun day at the science center we ended Rusty’s birthday celebration with dinner at Ponderosa restaurant. A few months ago we puppy sat for a family at church. They generously thanked us with a gift card to Ponderosa that paid for our entire family to enjoy dinner out. We saved the gift card for a special occasion: Rusty’s birthday!

Teenage boys love all-you-can-eat buffets!!

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It was a wonderful family day.

Next weekend Rusty will celebrate his birthday with friends at his “Pixel” themed birthday party.

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