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Navelpluis
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Not a playground...
Navelpluis   8/1/2014 2:57:29 AM
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I don't want to be a game breaker, nor swallow too much serious pills here. But important for a museum is not to turn their place into a children's playground. That's not their task. With a bit of tears in my eyes I saw a couple of nice Dutch museums local here convert to such places. All technology ls stocked away into depots and they basically do not display much of the original technology backgrounds. "Kids find this boring", they say. But then I say: "Gleu a Mac Donalds aside the museum and let them play there!"

For people older than 16 there basically is not much to see. No real background, it is a playground. Really interesting items are hanging on the wall, high up, without sufficient interesting background. For a techie like me -at least- I recognize lots of things, but for most people it is 'abra cadabra'.

 

Am I child-unfriendly? No, not at all. I think that one of the main problems is to learn children to focus on one subject for longer than 5 seconds. *That* is what we should learn children first. The result will be that the museum does not *need* conversion to a playground: You can learn the child and you can learn yourself. And as soon as they get tired: Let them go to the Mac Donalds playground, leave one of the parents behind and dive back into the museum to swim & swallow into their beatiful technology ;-)

 

junko.yoshida
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Funding issues
junko.yoshida   7/31/2014 9:04:02 PM
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@wilber, I can feel your excitement, as you metion " pendulum balls, tube water oscillation, bubble traps were just amazing." I am totally with you.

One of the things I noticed, though, is that as much as we all love those museums, most of them are struggling to raise funds.

As with anything, funding is critical...many look for partnerships with universities, corporate sponsorships and even working with the local "Makers' moevement." I wish we could do more. 

Susan Rambo
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Re: Kid-Friendly Science Museums...
Susan Rambo   7/31/2014 7:40:29 PM
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Hi Karen, next time I'm in Boston, I'd like to check out MIT Museum (hint, hint).

Susan Rambo
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Re: Kid-Friendly Science Museums...
Susan Rambo   7/31/2014 7:39:20 PM
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Lawrence Hall of Science gets my vote, too. I used to go there as a kid. Definitely beautiful up there. When I was a kid, we'd see the planterium show. I'm not sure if they still have that.

docdivakar
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Re: Kid-Friendly Science Museums...
docdivakar   7/31/2014 5:06:48 PM
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@Kfield: I didn't realize you are one of the contributors to this story, thanks for good work!

Ditto on campus science museums, I have been to Lawrence Berkeley museum on the hilltop about 5 times now; the view of the SF bay is unparalleled, an added perk to visit the museum:

www.lawrencehallofscience.org

MP Divakar

kfield
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Re: Kid-Friendly Science Museums...
kfield   7/31/2014 4:06:04 PM
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@docdivakar "I have been to many of these and have membership in CHM. I never get bored to revisit any of these museums."

Agreed! I went to the MIT Museum to report on this aritcle, intending to just pop in, and wound up spending a couple of hours!!!

wilber_xbox
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Re: Children's Science Museums
wilber_xbox   7/31/2014 2:58:39 PM
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@Rickdoherty, this is a great list of museums in US. Thanks for sharing.

wilber_xbox
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Re: Kid-Friendly Science Museums...
wilber_xbox   7/31/2014 2:56:52 PM
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I still remember my trip to Science museum quite a while ago as the experiments on display were no less than pure magic. Things like pendulum balls, tube water oscillation, bubble traps were just amazing.

KB6NU
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Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
KB6NU   7/31/2014 2:36:46 PM
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One fine museum that you missed is the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (www.aahom.org). Both kids and adults love it. I'm partial to it because I am the station manager for the museum's amateur radio station, WA2HOM.

73, Dan KB6NU

junko.yoshida
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Re: What's your favorite kid-friendly science museum?
junko.yoshida   7/31/2014 11:38:42 AM
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@Astronut0, great to hear that! Because I think one of our editors actually recently visited there and we will be rolling out a special slideshow on that one soon, according to my well-placed sources.

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