After spending almost 10 months of the year in school, the last thing my kids want to do is spend their summer learning. Summer can be a challenging time to keep the kids educationally engaged. With plenty of opportunities for outdoor and physical fun and the constant distractions of electronics, summer, at least in the eyes of my kids, isn't always conducive to learning.
I've discovered that finding the right venues and opportunities to combine fun and learning is the key. To subtly incorporate the learning with the fun is my ultimate goal, and there's one place that's the ideal environment for achieving this goal: Liberty Science Center.
Although we visit LSC several times per year, our favorite time of the year to visit is during the summer when the little brains are in need of a good challenge and workout.
On Sunday, we were invited to visit LSC to enjoy the exhibits and experience the wonder of the newest exhibit Beyond Rubik's Cube. The iconic toy is celebrating it's 40th anniversary, and Liberty Science Center offers its visitors interactive and digital challenges in solving this mesmerizing puzzle.
Before entering the exhibit, visitors are greeted by a 26-foot tall Groovik's Cube that hangs in the atrium of LSC. Visible for 3 floors of the museum, this web-enabled exhibit is playable from anywhere in the world.
We entered Beyond The Rubik's Cube, and I was immediately transported back to the early 80s when I would spend hours trying to complete the puzzle. I immediately headed to the Solve Bar where guests can get hands-on and try their hand at solving the elusive puzzle. There are also interactive exhibits where you can attempt to solve it via the help of Google technology. A "tutor" guides you in your interactive experience and suggests moves while you solve the puzzle on a tablet.
Give up? Well, you are in luck. There's hope for solving your cube at Robot Race. A speed-cubing robot solves any scrambled cube that is handed to it. My girls had to pull me away from this to move on to other areas.
After spending our fair share of time in Beyond The Rubik's Cube, it was time to move on. One of our favorite exhibits at LSC is Infection Connection, a look at how various types of infections are spread and treated.
The Contagion Station is like a giant sneeze which covers you in pseudo airborne germs.
This interactive station allows you to treat bacteria with antibiotics. Sometimes the strains of bacteria are greater and stronger than others, and thus, more antibiotics are needed. This was a great tool for showing my daughters how effective antibiotics are at treating some of the common infections they get.
Our next stop was the Communication exhibit. This exhibit focuses on means of communication, primarily written forms. In addition to learning the origins of communication, you can learn how to read the Braille alphabet, see the early writing instruments before a pencil and pen were invented, and try your hand at a little street graffiti.
If you plan a trip to LSC, be sure to inquire about the shows in the J.D. Williams Science Theater. On a previous visit, the show featured a mathematician who could solve any problem within seconds. He could even tell you that day of the week you were born on based on your birthday. Yeah, crazy. On Sunday's visit, the show was all about the origins of electricity. During the Tesla Lightning Show, we saw how electricity is conducted. This was a really cool show and a real delight for the senses. Here's a bolt of lightning being conducted in front of our eyes.
One of my favorite parts of LSC is the IMAX theater. We always set aside some time to see an IMAX movie during our visits to Liberty Science Center! On this visit, we saw "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar". Get your tickets early at the box office. We wanted to see the "Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland", but it was sold out.
And lastly, our visit was made complete with a photo with Clifford The Big Red Dog.
If you've got little ones, you don't want to miss the Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog exhibit. It's an incredibly colorful and highly interactive experience (almost like a playground) where you can play with Clifford and his favorite friends.
Doesn't all this talk about science, technology, and fun make you want to plan a trip to Liberty Science Center?
One lucky Pieces of a Mom winner will win a 4-pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center. The tickets include complimentary admission to LSC for up to 4 adults or children during normal operating hours. Tickets do not include parking, or any special programming or IMAX movies. Tickets expire on January 31, 2015.
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Disclosure: I received complimentary admission to LSC for me and my family and a 4-pack of tickets to use on a return visit. I was not required to or compensated to write this post. All opinion are my own.