I confess that I have never been all that physical. I do try to take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. I let my daughter talk me into auditioning for a community theater musical (and while my dancing was definitely in the bottom third, or maybe the bottom tenth, I didn’t humiliate myself). I did enjoy playing pick-up volleyball in college, and I did enjoy spending quality time with my dad when he signed me up for sporting events. But SportsWorks is not usually where I spend most of my time at the Carnegie Science Center.
A few weeks ago, I brought my teen son and a friend on a tour of the submarine USS Requin at the Carnegie Science Center, and followed the boys around as they had a grand time debating robot intelligence, black hole theory, and alternate histories. After the submarine itself, the high point of their visit had to be the “Stump a Scientist” booth.
I went back a little later, this time taking my preteen daughter and three younger friends. This more kinetic crew spent a lot of time climbing, jumping, racing, and role-playing. Waiting in line for the trampoline was the biggest time commitment they made, and judging by the photos, I think they would say the wait was worth it.
Of the two groups, I couldn’t tell you which group learned more, or which group had more fun.
In a few days I’ll post another blog entry featuring a visit to the water tables on the 4th floor, but this post focuses on SportsWorks.
We brought along guests — three siblings and their mom — who hadn’t been to the CSC in a long time, so we let them set the pace and let them explore where they wanted to go. My daughter — who never wants to leave SportsWorks when the rest of us get tired of it — was in heaven.
My daughter is very kinetic — she learns by grabbing and twisting and poking and (sometimes) breaking whatever she sees, so she was in heaven being with a group of energetic kids who wanted to run and twist and turn things just like she does.
The souvenir penny-stretching gadget was a hit for this little guy.
The rock wall is very prominent when you enter the building. Our four little ones waited until they could tackle the wall together.
My kids are four years apart, so they never really felt the need to compete with each other in sports. My daughter got a little taste of athletic competition on this visit to SportsWorks… she wanted to make sure that, as the oldest, she volunteered to take the hardest route — and she wanted me to note that she’s standing on the red circle.
Here the two older girls are keeping an eye on the timer, trying to outdo each other hanging on the chin bar.
I saw a little frumping from my girl, suggesting she didn’t win this little competition, but it was nothing too serious.
The littler ones just looked happy just to be up so high — with a little help from Mom.
This was a really cool multipart assembly, kind of like Whack-A-Mole, but the kids run from station to station pushing colored lights. I took a dozen pictures, but these were the only ones when all four weren’t little blurs.
I thought this was a nice little arty picture. The attendants at the trampoline station just saw a pile of shoes, so right after I snapped this, they asked the kids to pick up their shoes.
Of all the activities the kids visited, the one that took the most time was the trampoline. The wait was long…
But I think you can tell from these pictures, the kids thought it was worth it.