Today was a day filled with educational activities! Even though it was Saturday, Science Adventures were in full swing as we met up with a friend and fellow Bear Scout from our den and his Arrow of Light Brother, to participate in our first STEM/Nova Day at HMNS!!
We had a lot of fun, explored a lot of favorites as well as new (for us). Since both families are members of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, we stayed beyond the planned activities and explore lots more. We ended up staying until closing, that was 7 hours total of all sorts of Science Fun.
The STEM/Nova Day at HMNS offers Scouts a chance to interact with local companies that are in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to develop and encourage an interest in STEM. At each booth, the organizations had a STEM activity or demonstration to share with STEM/Nova participants as well as the general public visiting HMNS. We had a lot of fun. The first one we did was sort of a Motorized Color Bot (sorry, didn’t get many photos) where they used a battery, small motor, cup and markers to make moving robot that colored on the paper. We then got a packet to make one at home. I’ll post photos and video to our social media accounts when we do it at home.
We walked around and did lots of activities, including making paper lanterns for the Fearful Symmetry Nova, discovering how garbage can help determine how people lived for Uncovering the Past Nova and learning about the layers that make up the Earth’s Core and how you can use a slinky to describe it (my favorite).
After exploring different tables, including e butterfly table for Boy Scouts that had caterpillars on plants, we grabbed lunch before settling in to afternoon classes with other Cub Scouts at our rank and exploring a rank elective.
I sat in on the Forensics Class with the 2 Bear Scouts, while the Arrow of Light and his Mom headed for his Art Class. “My” 2 boys and I learned how to do fingerprints and how to read them, we learned about how scientist uses various elements to identify substances and did our own experiment. We discussed what types of careers there were in forensics and how forensics is valuable to us as scientists and a community. We even talked about dogs in forensics, which I think they boys really enjoyed as well.
After the classes, we went to explore the Morian Hall of Paleontology (because kids and dinosaurs are meant to be together) and had the chance to watch some of the staff clean fossils. (We will have an entire post on this section of the HMNS coming soon.) The we went and explored the Cockrell Butterfly Center and The Wiess Energy Hall. We only had about 20 minutes to explore the Energy Hall before closing time, but it is a huge interactive area where kids (and adults) can learn all about energy in “the most contemporary, comprehensive and technologically advanced exhibition on the science and technology of energy anywhere in the world.”
We are certainly putting The Wiess Energy Hall on the list to do firs, next visit.
Here are some photos from today’s adventures: