Tag Archives: Carnegie Science Center

A Boys’ day out with their Favorite “Mummy!”

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Last Friday the boys and I had the opportunity to enjoy a shortened day of school and meet up with other cyber-schooled families at Carnegie Science Center for a day of fun. The outing, which was put together by Tyler’s school, offered us access to all the permanent exhibits the museum offers, in addition to the new, visiting exhibit: Mummies of the World!

Rusty and Tyler have both spent countless hours at this amazing, hands-on, Pittsburgh museum. Over the years our family has been gifted with annual memberships to the science center and we have gone on multiple homeschooling fieldtrips to visit this Pittsburgh gem, which is why I was so surprised when Braden said he had never been there before.

It was only by seeing his initial reaction to his first impression of the lobby as we walked in, that I realized he was a first time visitor. I knew he was in for a treat. It is an amazing place!

The field trip was self guided, so after checking in and getting our name tags, we were set free to explore the four levels of exhibits at our own pace.

We began on level one at the exhibit: H2O!

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After adequately exploring the mysteries of all things water related we headed to the second floor. This level is split into two areas. One section is devoted to the science and history of robotics and outer space, with a lot of fun, hands on activities.

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The second half of this floor is dedicated to a huge train table complete with dozens of running trains, towns, iconic Pittsburgh sites, moving characters and enchanting scenes. This is my favorite exhibit at the science center and I couldn’t wait to share it with Braden. He was as enchanted as we were the first time we explored this miniature world.

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Then we headed to the third floor where we learned more about the science of the human body. Here the boys were able to try different experiments that explored why the body and brain function the way they do.

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After a quick stop at the fourth floor so Braden could experience the earthquake simulator, and so we could check our the Lego building area, we headed to the traveling exhibit that was the big pull for this field trip…

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Mummies of the World!

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This exhibit was fascinating. Photography wasn’t allowed inside the exhibit but below is information and photographs from this amazing exhibit as taken from the Carnegie Science Center website.

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“Explore 125 real mummies and related artifacts from across the globe in Mummies of the World: The Exhibition, on display at Carnegie Science Center’s PPG SCIENCE PAVILION™ now through April 19, 2020. Only in Pittsburgh for a limited time, this blockbuster exhibition provides a window into the lives of ancient people from every region of the world including Europe, South America, and Ancient Egypt, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations.

 

See real mummies and discover their stories, including:

The Vac Mummies, a mummified family from Hungary believed to have died from tuberculosis, preserved in a small church until the remains of 265 mummies were discovered by a bricklayer during repair work in 1994.

Baron Von Holz, a German nobleman found tucked away in the family crypt of 14th century castle wearing his best boots after perishing in the castle while seeking refuge from the Thirty Years’ War.

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Animal mummies including a cat, a falcon, snow rabbit, lizard, weasel, and fish, some of which were deliberately preserved to accompany royals for eternity.

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MUMAB, the first authentic replication of the 2800-year-old Egyptian mummification process, took place in 1994 using the same tools and methods as described on ancient Egyptian papyrus.


Explore four galleries that delve into the many facets of mummification:

Natural Mummification Gallery – This gallery explores several environments in which bodies can preserve as a result of the natural environment. Human and animal mummies in this gallery include those from hot, dry environments in South America, a natural sand-salt environment in Egypt, an African desert, an alpine glacier, a German castle crypt with constant airflow and an acidic peat bog from the Netherlands.

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Artificial Mummification Gallery – This gallery presents mummies that have been prepared by humans for cultural reasons. The human and animal mummies in this gallery include an elaborately bandaged cat, two adults from Ancient Egypt and several shrunken heads from South America. Various artifacts associated with the preparation of the dead in Ancient Egypt will also be included, such as beautifully painted wooden sarcophagus, ushabtis and mummy beads.

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Experimental Mummification Gallery – This gallery centers around MUMAB, a body recently mummified following the techniques used by Ancient Egyptian embalmers, with detailed scientific documentation of the process. This gallery will include not only the mummy, but several of the tools used to prepare the body, all of which were replicated from original Egyptian embalming.

Science and Medicine Gallery – This gallery explores the links between mummies, science and medicine. Aside from showing mummies prepared for medical purposes, this gallery will also include examples of the application of scientific and medical techniques for the analysis of mummies, and the important shift from autopsy to modern medical science to study mummies. The exhibits will include several anatomical mummies from the Burns Collection and church crypt mummies from Hungary (with discussion of the past and present scientific studies of tuberculosis).

It was a enjoyably educational day with three of my kiddos!

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.

Rusty’s day at the Carnegie Science Center

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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…

“Ozzie!”

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.

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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.