What do these things have in common?
It wasn’t obvious?
How about if I add this picture…
Of course. Now you get it….right?
Of course. “Mysteries of the Universe Day” (thank you, Charlie).
Follow along, and you’ll see how this all ties together (a particularly useful skill … taking seemingly unrelated events and turning them into a theme).
While I had originally envisioned this day as Constellation Day or Star Day or even Night Sky Day, the nature of our loosely woven, hotel bound, golf focused, baseball defined camp necessitated a different approach to the day.
To begin, we watched ALF in the car on the way to Adler Planetarium (I love themes).
Once we arrived, there were many mysteries for the boys to discover…
There was a lot to see, and like bright little neon stars, the boys wandered through the exhibits.
The boys were mystified when a professor stopped to talk to them. He told them that they should use their gifts and talked about his background in something, something, something science (we really couldn’t understand what he was saying…a little too scientific I guess). He went on to say he thought they would all make a name for themselves in astronomy. The shirts evidently made quite an impression as he thought we were part of a school group.
I didn’t clear up the confusion. It’s good to be singled out sometimes.
The glasses were the perfect accessory as the boys considered a life in the stars.
A visit to Adler Planetarium isn’t complete without a visit to the Sky Show.
We saw Cosmic Wonder and Welcome to the Universe. The boys were totally engaged, although at one point we all wondered if we were moving or if the screen was moving (it was the screen. They asked).
I never quite understood why there was a display on Universities, but the boys liked dressing in robes.
I like the idea of Silentium.
We spent several hours at the Planetarium and then headed home for the rest of Mysteries of the Universe Day (pretty sure there needs to be eerie music every time I say “Mysteries of the Universe”, but I have no idea how to accomplish that feat. A mystery of the universe, I guess).
Grampy and I brought our Bushnell Northstar Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope with Super 25 Wide Angle Long Eye Relief Lens to the hotel/camp. The boys each had a Bushnell Falcon 10 x 50 Binocular with 9mm eye relief. We had several books on the stars and constellations (and by several I mean dozens), and I brought my own personal Star Theater Home Planetarium with Interactive Meteor Maker. (By the way, if any of you have any idea what I just said, feel free to come to our house and show us how to use this stuff. Really).
Did we use any of these technologically advanced astronomical instruments?
We did not.
Because we had twi-light baseball games and three must-do swimming pools, we all fell sound asleep in a heap long before the stars came out. Instead ….
… we made Star Sponges (the answer to the often asked question, “what are you doing with cut sponges“)?
Perhaps not as astronomically profound as seeing a Messier object through a fancy-dancy telescope, but I can guarantee they were hysterically profound.
To round out Mysteries of the Universe Day, we used Duck Tape to decorate the 2 liter bottles so graciously supplied by our neighbors (thanks again, neighbors!). We would have added fins and a nosecone, but I could NOT find the foam paper I brought. I can’t imagine why I couldn’t find the foam.
The boys made do with duct tape.
After a rather lengthy (lengthy to an 11 year old) discussion of the safety requirements, we were ready to begin.
We coordinated the first launch.
Seriously. At least 100 feet!!
The boys had a ball.
They especially like catching the now empty rocket … er … bottle.
Like crazy off the course meteors, they careened around the field and caught untold numbers of water bottles.