Friday, January 22, 2010

Air & Space Museum

This week we had our first field trip with the local home educator's support group.  We went to the Stafford Air & Space Museum and Planetarium out in Weatherford.  Because it's the first time I've really done a field trip with Olivia (other than the zoo) it never occurred to me that I should actually learn about the space program or General Stafford before we went to the museum.  If we had, I'm sure she would have gotten more out of it.  Despite my lack of preparation, however, we really enjoyed ourselves, despite the long (and I do mean long) drive there.  Fortunately, I DID have the foresight to invite another family of kids along.  They are very, very well-behaved and all Olivia's age or older.  Therefore, their mom got to have a day off and Olivia had playmates to pass the time with.  Brownie points for mom! 

A few things that I learned today:
- It is possible to get motion sickness sitting still in a planetarium.
- Flying a plane is harder than it looks.  (Olivia and I kept crashing the flight simulator.  But for some reason, the boys with us didn't crash.  Is it that Y-chromosome thing again?)
- The cockpit of a fighter jet is really, really small and crowded.
- The first space shuttles were launched with rockets that were originally made to launch bombs.
- They used to hide these rockets in silos underground.  Ben insists there are still some hidden in silos, though the lady at the museum said they were all dismantled... (It's a conspiracy I tell you!)
- Astronauts in the space station eject their "poo" in little capsules that then burn up in our atmosphere.  We think they are shooting stars.  Kinda puts a damper on your romantic star-gazing, doesn't it?

I didn't get a ton of pictures from our trip, but I did get a few.

Olivia is the astronaut on the left...

This is a model of a space shuttle.  If you look at the launch rocket on the right side, the second cylindrical section (the short one) is what the kids are standing in...

... right here.  Maybe it's just me, but I thought it would be bigger.

And here's one of those launch rockets (i.e. fuel tanks) that was hidden underground in a silo.  Or part of it anyway.  It's actually about 90 feet long.

They had this ejection seat from a fighter jet set out for the kids to sit in.  Connor climbed in all by himself.  The real trick was getting him out.

Olivia and her friend Megan in another vehicle.  I didn't catch what it was for.  I was busy trying to get Connor out of that ejection seat when they explained it and couldn't hear over his screaming.

This is probably my favorite picture of the day.  The tour ends in the gift shop (of course) so I got all the kids a sucker shaped like a rocket ship.  While trying to get a picture of Connor eating his, I knelt on the floor to get a good angle.  He took one look at me and knelt down, too.  Monkey see, monkey do...


*Jess* said...

How cool is that place! My kids would love it there!

Thank you SO much for the kind words you leave on my blog all the time :) I'm so lucky to have you as a friend! I can't wait for the Spring when you come closer to us!

Alyssa said...

That looks like such a fun place. I always loved stuff like that when I was in elementary school. Heck, I still love that kind of stuff. ;)