Experiments, Great Lakes Science Center, Movies, Museums, Nature

GLSC Great Barrier Reef Movie Proves to be Turtle-tastic!!

Are you looking for some place warmer to explore this Fall?

Don’t miss the showing of Great Barrier Reef at the Cleveland Clinic DOME theater at the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) this November!

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The Premiere:

Last evening (November 1, 2018), my daughter and I were privileged to be invited as VIP guests to view the premiere of Great Barrier Reef at the DOME theater at the GLSC located in Cleveland, Ohio.

When we arrived, we were greeted so kindly and felt like movie stars as we walked the red carpet together and posed for photos. This was especially fun for my 3 year old daughter. She had been talking about going to the science center all day long. She loves this place!

We walked upstairs and we were greeted by more amazingly kind and excited staff from the science center where they had popcorn and refreshments available. (How did they know that my daughters favorite snack of all-time is POPCORN? Haha! She happily polished off 3 bags of it that night.)

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In addition to popcorn, they had a fun interactive table center piece for the kids to build their own underwater turtle habitat. My daughter was gifted an adorable small plush turtle to take home that night. Did you know that you can get your own stuffed turtle too?? Be one of the first 100 ticket purchasers for the new showing and you will receive one!

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We learned about the importance of water pH for the health of various fish and how researchers can test pH. Did you know that those annoying midges that we get every year in Cleveland actually mean that Lake Erie is well balanced and healthy? I didn’t!

They had a brief presentation prior to the premiere by GLSC President and CEO, Kirsten Ellenbogen and a trivia game about the Great Barrier Reef. Ms. Ellenbogen shared some VERY exciting changes coming to the GLSC very soon. More on those at the end of this post. I want to first share information about the movie itself!
Great Barrier Reef Movie:

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The images in this film, especially of the Great Barrier Reef underwater, are absolutely stunning and the movie is impressive! The movie follows Jemma Craig, an underwater photographer, reef native and founder of Islandjems Imagery, on an expedition to learn and document the work being done by various volunteers, researchers and scientists to save the reef and keep it healthy.

The storyline was relatively easy for my 3 year old to follow and understand. She was especially excited and interested about the work that was done to save a turtle from the reef at the Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Center. After the movie, she surprised me with her take awaydon’t throw trash in the ocean or it will hurt the sea animals!

We also learned about how the reef changes at night, how the reef is changing with climate change and the incredible cutting edge research being done by scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Life to save the reef. This is a really great, informative and inspirational family-friendly film.
More from the GLSC:
2:1 Grant for Renovations:

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Kirsten Ellenbogen (pictured above), CEO and President of the GLSC, shared some very exciting news last night. The GLSC received a 2:1 Challenge Grant from their anonymous donor.

The funds will be used to update the Second Floor Science Phenomena area. This area of the museum has ranked as one of the top favorites by visitors. The improvements will allow for bigger exhibits, more hands on features and some new areas. These new areas will be prototyped by guests over the next six months. So if you visit, you might be pulled aside to check out the new areas!

The GLSC has been challenged to raise $250,000 in donations by December 31, 2018. The donor will make a $2 donation for every $1 raised (i.e. gift of $30 gives $90 and $2000 becomes $6000). For more information on how to donate to this incredible grant, call 216-696-4260 or email development@glsc.org.

Great Science Academy:

In addition, the GLSC had launched the Great Science Academy, which is an immersive program for children in grades 6-9. Kids gather twice a month on Saturdays to explore STEM careers in a fun, creative environment. The topics for each grade are as follows: grade 6 is Sustainability, grade 7 is Mars and Space, grade 8 is Biomechanics and grade 9 is Entrepreneurship.

If you are interested in learning more or sending your children to the Great Science Academy, check out the website link above and contact them directly. They are also always looking for professional volunteers to help with the Great Science Academy. If you are interested, they would love for you to contact them directly!
Check out the Movie!!

I highly recommend that you take your family to see this movie – IT IS EXCELLENT. You can follow this link to the list of showtimes and ticket prices! It launches tomorrow, November 3, 2018 at the GLSC!!!

Check out Grossology while you are there too! Grossology lasts until January and then will be replaced by an exhibit designed by the GLSC on automobiles!

I want to thank the Great Lakes Science Center for allowing me and my daughter the opportunity to attend the premiere of Great Barrier Reef. We had so much fun and learned so many new facts about the reef and marine life. It was exciting for me, as a parent, to see my daughters excitement over this movie and listening to her talk about what she learned afterwards. I learned some really amazing facts too. It made me want to visit Australia!

DISCLAIMER: My daughter and I received exclusive access to the GLSC VIP event for the premiere of the Great Barrier Reef movie at the GLSC. In exchange, I was asked to promote the launch of this movie on my social media platform and blog. I am also a member of the GLSC. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. If you have any questions, please contact me at momgineeringthefuture@gmail.com.

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Fairy Garden, Nature

Coining a new phrase: Fairy God-Momgineering!

OHIO.  Rolling hills with gorgeous tree line views, rivers, lakes, creeks, beaches, ponds, gorges, waterfalls, farmland, marsh, etc.  The landscape here is beautiful and there are plenty of park systems with scientists, naturalists, biologists, zoologists, botanists, geologists, architects, ecologists and engineers that ensure that the beauty of OHIO is preserved for us to enjoy.

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Fairy house at Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio

In our family, we do our best to spend as much time outdoors as we can.

Recently we went to our local arboretum and stopped by the Children’s Nature Play Area.  This area has climbing ropes, a reading area, balance beams, a small zip line and an area to watch birds, squirrels and chipmunks feed from the feeders.

But what was most exciting for the girls was a recently added Fairy Garden. They played with it for more than an hour before we had to bribe them to go.  So, that’s where the idea for our next family project began…

This winter, we will be building a fairy garden for our yard.

There are many fun elements to this project that incorporate aspects of STEAM (I’ll be starting to add the Arts portion to many of our projects too)!  Most of our materials will be found in nature or scrap that we have – other than some items we may need for attaching (like glue, nails, etc.).

Using items from nature will allow us to:

  • Identify trees / plants and their attributes for building,
  • Identify types of fruit / nuts various trees / plants produce,
  • Identify other items in nature that can be used for building / decorating,
  • Use our creativity and
  • Study actual structures out in the real world.  For example, go look at the structural aspects of a bridge – what holds it up?

In the words of William Wordsworth, we will try to “let nature be (our) teacher”.

This entire project will be a great introduction to many disciplines in the STEAM fields.  Key ones that come to mind for this project are Structural or Civil Engineer, Materials Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Safety Engineer, Naturalist / Biologist, Botanist, Geologist, Architect and possibly even Ecology.

I fully expect that as parents of two young children, we may be doing much of the work, but it will be incredibly worth every ounce of energy considering the tremendous amount of education and confidence that this will provide them.  And the final result will be so much FUN!

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Our first bucket of nature materials

Over the next several weeks / months, we will be collecting nature materials to use (started this weekend), taking photos of various structures that we want to build, planning our builds and finally, building several pieces and problem solving any (hopefully minimal) failures.

I will share each of the pieces in this blog – how they were made, what we would do differently and hopefully we will inspire some of you to do something similar!  Feel free to submit ideas that you have or items you think belong in a Fairy Garden – let me be your Fairy God-Momgineer (HAHA!) and bring these ideas to life! 

I am also SO excited to see the kids ideas come to life too.  Maria Montessori once said, “A child, more than anyone else, is a spontaneous observer of nature.”

All ideas in this post, as always, are my own.  Please reach out to me below in the comments or at momgineeringthefuture@gmail.com if you have any additional comments, ideas or suggestions for our fairy garden.  I’d love to hear them!

And if you love this blog, PLEASE share it with family, friends, colleagues, etc. that you think would love it too.

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