I’m Going to Try Science!

WE ARE A FAMILY OF SCIENCE GEEKS. Weather, physics, computers, cooking… we just love to figure out how things work and try it for ourselves. This year is shaping up to be extra scientific between classes and trips and Bella getting more inquisitive. I even worked in a trip for just me to go see where they smash tiny things together very quickly!

When we moved at the beginning of the year, we had decided not to put the girls into daycare for the time being. Marcy was not going to be working and we were looking for ways to keep our spending down. As a result we ended up looking for enrichment activities for Bella and found Curiosity Zone. Parents of young kids know it can be difficult to find good activities for children under the age of 5, so their Little Lab program was exactly what we needed. The night when she goes to her “science class,” as she calls it, has quickly become her favorite day of the week. So much so that we immediately signed her up for the entire year after her first day. She learned about geologists, engineers, astronauts, and other professions during the last session, and this time around it’s backyard science, where they’re learning about backyard animals, weather, and other fun things.

I can’t possibly overstate how proud it makes me feel that Bella loves science so much, and I do everything I can to encourage that. We have color crystal kits and prisms for her to play with at home. While she’s tending more towards her dolls lately, blocks and Tinkertoys and LEGO have always been the favorites. I take her to the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center to look at the planes, and her favorite exhibits are the space artifacts. I selfishly don’t want my mother to ever move from the condo she has in Boston because it’s right next to the Boston Children’s Museum. Bella’s imagination and creativity is astounding, and when you combine that with wanting to learn how things work it’s going to take her far.

Partly because of her interest in the space displays at the museum, and partly because I have never been able to see it, we wanted to plan a trip this fall to go see one of the final Space Shuttle launches. Who knows when there will be a replacement program, and there’s something about seeing the Shuttle launch, especially knowing there are people in it, that is more amazing than a rocket launch. The STS-133 (Discovery) launch is now scheduled for November 1st, the day after our planned Walt Disney World trip ends. That, much to my boss’s chagrin, has turned our trip into a 2 week vacation to Florida. We are renting a condo right on the Indian River in Titusville, directly across from the Kennedy Space Center, for the month of November. That way we have somewhere to watch from even if the launch slips by a few days (or a few weeks). Of course, we’ll spend plenty of time at KSC doing tours and seeing all the exhibits as well!

I’m also getting a little treat just for me. Several of the high energy physics labs, including CERN and Fermilab are hosting photowalks for amateur photographers on August 7th. I was able to get into the limited group going to Fermilab (only about 50 people per site are allowed). We’ll get to see one of the accelerator tunnels, the antimatter factory, and a few other sites. I just hope I’ll be able to get some good pictures, since I’m only just picking up the hobby again after a long hiatus. The last time I took any serious pictures was in college.

Todd Palino


I'm a dad, a small business owner, a systems engineer, a developer, and any number of other things.

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