Sunday, September 20, 2009

automobile aerodynamics

We spent another afternoon at the CT Science Center (boy, are we getting our money's worth out of that membership!) The highlight of this week's trip was a hands-on program by one of the staff scientists about Automobile Aerodynamics. J was definitely amongst "his people" -- his hand was raised with an answer for every question asked, and he was the first to volunteer to help whenever the scientist needed help.

J helps the scientist measure drag on various models of cars. He surprised even me by knowing the answer to the question, "How fast do you fall if you jump out of an airplane?" (The answer is 120 mph -- that's "terminal velocity", the fastest a free-falling object can fall.) I later asked J how he knew the answer to that. "Oh," he replied casually, "I read it somewhere." That child remembers every detail he learns!

Zoo Boy gets his chance to run the wind tunnel. Both boys really enjoyed the program, and spent some time chatting with the scientist afterwards as well. This is the very best part of Science Center for me -- real scientists on the floor interacting with my kids, giving them hands-on experiences with equipment and concepts that would be hard to duplicate at home (or even in a classroom). I can't think of a better platform for learning about the physical sciences!

Of course, the boys also spent a lot of time experimenting on their own as well, here in the water play center.

And no visit would be complete without a visit to the Space Exploration exhibit!

No comments: