Lucy and I spent the day at the Carnegie Science Center recently. It was fascinating to watch kids and imagine what kind of adults they will turn out to be. One little guy was working with velcro-tabbed PVC pipe to design a plumbing system on the carpet wall. The goal of the activity was to be able to put a ping pong ball in the top and have it travel all the way through the system to a cup. Intuitively, he seemed to know how to connect them so that it would work. There was no one explaining it to him. He was probably 3 years old. Lucy would add a piece, but it was pretty random. Not much rhyme or reason. He would calmly remove it and reposition it. Interesting to watch.
Then there was the Earthquake Cafe. A diner table with booth seats, a hanging lamp, and three choices of earthquakes to experience. Although there was a sign that clearly stated "If others are waiting, please limit your experience to one earthquake," there were four 10-12 year old kids who kept switching seats and essentially hogging the cafe. Lucy and I waited. The line behind us got longer. The little girls behind me said, "but the sign says . . ." so finally, I had to step up and say, "You've been able to experience this. There are a lot of kids who haven't. How about you going to the back of the line if you want to go again?" The ring-leader glared at me, but they all left. Yea for the adult.
In one corner, there were large spongy building blocks. One guy had built a tower about 4 ft. tall. When Lucy added a piece, it toppled over. He was pretty upset and came to stand right in front of her spouting nonsense. Lucy didn't say anything. She had a triangle piece, like the top of a house, in her hand and she very calmly put it on the top of his head and walked away. The boy shouted, "That's not funny!" It still makes me laugh to think about it.
Four floors. So much to see, so much to experience. When we left, she wanted to know if we could go again some time. "Of course, we can. Let's wait a while so when we come back it will seem new again." Her reply? "Maybe we can go tomorrow."
I took a nap when I got home.