If you haven’t guessed it by now, we’re huge museum-goers.
Prof is a history and classics professor, so it makes sense that we’d be avid museum-goers. And I’ve mentioned how surprised I was with Cleveland’s art and culture scene, so we wanted to check out Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center. After all, we are members of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, which partners with other Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA) member museums, like the Great Lakes Science Center. Thus, as members, we entered the museum for free!
While we enjoyed walking around a virtually empty museum at the Cleveland Museum of Art, hundreds of summer campers and day care center kids infiltrated the science center. I could recall seeing only a small handful of families visiting the day we went.
LEGO Travel Adventure Exhibit
We checked out the website, and of course, they had a LEGO exhibit! (LEGOs seem to be a running theme in on the blog, probably due to our love of LEGOs.) And naturally, we made our first stop at LEGO Travel Adventure.
This exhibit was more look than touch, since practically every LEGO display was plated and cordoned off, unlike some of the other LEGO exhibits we’ve seen at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago or LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark.
Most of the kids weren’t too excited about seeing the impressive the Discover the Past display cases, but take a look for yourself. Our boys were mildly interested for a few minutes, but they too succumbed to the pressures of touching, creating, and building LEGOs!!!!
(Photo Above: Infiltration of summer campers and day care center kids making way through the LEGO exhibit. This was only one group out of about ten walking that day.)
(Photo Above: Life-size LEGO car racer with turning steering wheel.)
(Photo Above: Piano Man watches his LEGO creation turn from 3D to 2D.)
You can see artwork created with thousands of tiny LEGO pieces, mimicking iconic photographs of John Lennon, Jimmy Hendrix to the more whimsical artwork of Ahsoka Tano and Mickey Mouse.
Here’s another iconic movie poster – Silence of the Lambs.
Or if you have an eye for a more modern flair, then this one’s for you:
All of the artwork seen above was masterful created by Arthur Gugick, a Cleveland-based math teacher and “lifelong LEGO enthusiast.” You can check out more of his work at www.gugick.com.)
Although I must say this one made me do a double-take:
We spent a considerable amount of time at the LEGO exhibit, but it was getting crowded and difficult to ensure that Linus wasn’t going to get trampled on.
Glenn Visitor Center Exhibit
We’re no strangers to visiting space museums, and next up was the NASA Space Learning component at the NASA Glenn Visitor Center. John Glenn, a former American astronaut, was the first to orbit the earth and hails from Cambridge, Ohio. He was also a U.S. Senator for Ohio, which makes him a notable figure in the history of the U.S. space program. Since space and science go hand in hand, it made sense to see the Glenn Visitor Center exhibit display plenty of hands-on learning experiences for the kids.
Kids got to jump inside and pretend to be an astronaut!
Linus waited patiently in line, as the older kids cut in line in front of us; but one of the camp leaders was kind to let Linus jump ahead. The wait was worth it – to see our gleaming boy’s face trying to push all the buttons was hilarious!
Prof tried his hand at flight simulation, making a very explosive landing to earth, which was truly more difficult than playing a PS3 or Wii Game.
And if you’re into a little history lesson, here’s a broad overview of the U.S. history in space.
What science museum would be complete without an exhibit that teaches you about general science, such as aeronautics, physics, and more.
BioMed Tech Exhibit
We’ve visited the Houston Health Museum years ago, and this exhibit demonstrated similar traits to the Houston version. Kids learned about how muscle moves, what makes up genetic code, and how an MRI machine works.
More Science Exhibits Upstairs
I don’t know what to call this exhibit upstairs, but it’s a hodgepodge of science experiments, perfect for the scientific mind and future scholars.
Rather than inundate you with a ton of steamship photos, let me share those in a future post coming up. You can purchase tickets at the Great Lakes Science Center at an additional cost to the entrance fee.
When we ended our long morning and partial afternoon of play and learning at the Great Lakes Science Center, we stopped by the museum shop. They sold extremely overpriced LEGO sets and other knick knacks, so we convinced our children away to visit the LEGO store in Cleveland, which I am certain I’ll share that sometime next week as I wrap up our tour of Cleveland.
But for now, I bid you adieu from the Great Lakes Science Center, hoping you’ll take advantage of the ASTC membership programs, if your local museum participates in that. I highly encourage you to check if your local museum is a member. You never know what hidden museum gems you’ll find on your next family road trip.
TRAVEL: Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry
TRAVEL: Space Center Houston
TRAVEL: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago
TRAVEL: LEGOLAND Billund Resort
TUTORIAL: LEGO Star Wars-Inspired Happy Birthday Banner
TRAVEL: Chicago’s LEGO Store on Magnificent Mile, The Disney Store, Joyee’s, and H Mart
Hotel Legoland Review and Overall Review of Legoland Billund Resort