Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Natural History Museum

Another Saturday, another new adventure. Today we went to the new Natural History Museum on the U of U campus. It just opened up at this location in early 2012. This museum was extremely educational, and it was geared toward 6-12 year olds (and adults). As a fourth grade teacher, I was constantly saying, "Wow! My students need to see that!" There was a large dinosaur exhibit, a few live animals, and many models and displays of how things worked. Our favorite model was the earthquake model, where we built a structure out of blocks and then simulated a historical earthquake and watched our building crumble to the ground. Here's the video:


We also really liked the wetland exhibit which explained the value of wetlands-- specifically how they filter impurities out of the water and prevent floods from happening by rolling a bunch of marbles around. Nearby there was a weather simulator which showed how the Great Salt Lake was formed and why it doesn't flood it's banks even though there is no outlet.

The museum was a bit pricey: $9 for adults and $6 for kids, but it was well worth it. One thing we learned was to take the elevator up to floor 5 and work our way down. Not only is coming down 5 levels of stairs easier than going up (and the museum is naturally built for you to go down via ramps), the best stuff seems to be at the bottom (namely dinosaurs and more hands on activities). A reverse trip will have your kids worn out and yawning by the end.

To get to the museum from Utah County, take I-15 to the 215 East. Follow it around to Foothill Drive as if you were going to the zoo. Go 1 light past the zoo to Walkara Street and turn right. The museum is all the way up that road. The website can be found here: Natural History Museum.

1st thing you see as you walk up to enter--a map of Utah. 

A microscope showing different types of hair and fur.

The boys were fascinated with the ant farm.

A little archaeologist site.

Trying to put together an old pot. It was really hard!

The dinosaur section

He was soaking wet by the time we left. He loved scooping up bugs out of the water.

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