Fun with Science!

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On Thursday we headed into Pittsburgh for our first school outing since returning from vacation. This trip was organized by 21st Century Cyber Charter School, which is Rusty, Molly and Ozzie’s cyber school.

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We were excited that a break in Gracie’s crazy schedule allowed her to come play with us for the day. After bidding Toby “goodbye” and dropping Brandon off at the bus stop, we ventured south to play for the day.

In addition to meeting up with some of the teachers from 21st Century Cyber Charter School, we were also joined by 75 other students & families. It was the biggest turnout we had ever seen for a local outing with 21cccs. Among the numbers were quite a few familiar faces, and it was fun to catch up with friends after being away for the last month.

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The first half of the outing was spent in the science center where the kids explored the various exhibits and enjoyed the hands-on learning available over the four floors of fun.

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Some of the favorite exhibits include H2O!:

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BodyWorks:

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“Our bodies are marvelous machines! BodyWorks uses brand-new interactive exhibits, live shows, and demonstrations to explore the blood, guts, bones, brains, senses, and mechanics that make us  us!

The exhibit explores our Muscles and Bones, Heart and Lungs, Digestive System, Brain and Nerves, and Body Basics.

Learn about the fluids that fill your body, the limits of the human form, and what parts of you can be replaced.

Come pump a heart, stretch your intestines, fool your senses, make your skeleton dance, see actual preserved human organs, and more!”

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Roboworld:

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Welcome to roboworld®, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibition! Learn how ‘bots sense, think, and act and explore dozens of interactive exhibit stations in this one-of-a-kind robotics experience. It’s the ultimate robot gathering, right here in Pittsburgh! Are you ready to go robotic?

At roboworld®, explore hands-on robotics exhibits – and even challenge a robot to a game of air hockey! Roboworld highlights the amazing technology that enables robots to sense, think, and act.

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And the Miniature Railroad & Village exhibit which highlights landmarks around the Pittsburgh area:

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“Take a walking tour of western Pennsylvania at the world-renowned Miniature Railroad & Village®.

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This beloved exhibit’s story began in 1919 with a man named Charles Bowdish of Brookville, Pa. Originally a holiday display on the second floor of his house, it moved to the Buhl Planetarium in 1954, and ultimately found its final home at Carnegie Science Center in 1992.

The Miniature Railroad & Village® features hundreds of wonderfully realistic animated scenes that illustrate how people lived, worked, and played in our region during an era spanning the 1880s to the late 1930s.

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More favorites include the Primanti Bros. restaurant in the Strip District, Westinghouse Atom Smasher, Crawford Grill, Fallingwater, Forbes Field, Punxsutawney Phil at Gobbler’s Knob, Luna Park, Sharon Steel Mill, Manchester Farms, and a historic Pittsburgh incline, to name a few.

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Mr. Roger’s house. The only building in the miniature village that isn’t a real place. Can you spot Mr. Rodgers and Mr. McFeely?

The Miniature Railroad & Village® features: 105 animations, 250,000+trees, 14 aircraft, 85 automobiles, 1 Incline (Monongahela Incline), 60 trucks, 22 horse-drawn vehicles, 23,000 fans in Forbes Field”

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At noon we all gathered in the lunchroom to eat our packed lunches before heading over to Sportsworks, the second building included with our cost of admission, where the kids enjoyed more hands-on fun.

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This building’s exhibits focus more on the human body, heath, and fitness, with various challenges that allow guests to put the marvels of the human body to the test.

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Among the challenges were a race track, climbing wall,

And the most recent addition: a ropes course that sits high above the other activities below.

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“Learn about the science behind the climb, such as center of mass and inertia, as well as the physiology of fear and thrills and perception.

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Located in the middle of SportsWorks, the Ropes Challenge consists of 11 elements, such as walking a rope bridge, balancing on rolling logs, and climbing across a horizontal net, before reaching the zipline.”

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This exhibit was added since our last visit, and as a result was the first thing the kids go in line to try.

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High above my head they climbed, balanced and zipped through the course, enjoying the novelty of perceived danger without actually being in danger of falling to their deaths.

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As I stood below, capturing their adventure on film, I wasn’t sure if the strangled screams were expressions of delight or terror.

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In the end the consensus was that the new ropes course was a fun addition to the science center.

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It was a fun day with a fun group of friends.

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