The best part about having a membership to the local museum is that we can take advantage of the reciprocal program where members can visit other museums for free or reduced admission. This week, we decided to go visit the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton.
Boonshoft would not have been easy to find without google maps. There was not adequate signage from the direction we took, and the museum was tucked away toward the back of a park. The area is very pretty with bike trails and rivers, which is in stark contrast to other areas of Dayton (such as near the art museum).
Maybe I’m a party pooper, but I’m bothered with science museums that are stuffed with playground activities rather than educational areas. Boonshoft has it’s fair share of rope ladders, slides, splash tables, and legos, which offer varying degrees of actual science information.
Some of the more popular areas of the museum with my kids were the fossil pit filled with bones covered in granules of recycled rubber, the land fill recycling truck, and the dance room with silhouette image distortion.
My favorite experience was the global warming movie projected on a suspended sphere. I had never seen this method of three dimensional projection; it was a really cool way to transfix the audience so that we’d pay attention to the message. The sphere captured my imagination.
I was happy to see that (unlike my local museum) there’s a science lab for the kids to try different experiments. The lab opens every few hours, and there are four different activities for the kids to enjoy. Sasha and I did an experiment where we learned about acid rain, and how the acids in lakes are neutralized with a lime base by scientists to keep them safe.
We ended the day by seeing a show in the science theatre. The information was simple like lessons on the phases of matter, but I really enjoyed it. The science entertainer did a good job keeping the kids interested and making us laugh.
It was a shame we didn’t have a chance to visit the planetarium, but we were on a budget (and time constraints). I asked around about what type of projector they used, but nobody could give me a direct answer. I gathered that it wasn’t one of those high definition projectors, but the planetarium director has been recognized and awarded for his custom star shows.
We will return to the Boonshoft again. There was a good mix of science and entertainment, the staff kept the exhibits clean and organized, and most importantly, the whole family had a good time. I know that there’s so much we missed, so we look forward to seeing more in the future.