Of Dinosaurs and Planets

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By Sheela Sequeira

Thanks to the wonderful people at Oracle, we had the resources to take the kids on a learning trip to the Vishweshwariya Museum and then to the Planetarium. Together with the Oracle volunteers we all packed ourselves into two buses and headed straight to the museum. The kids were split among the volunteers, around 4 each, who played the role of adult knowledge chaperones.

One Day at the Museum

Setting up the moon
Inside, the kids flipped out at the sight of the animatronic ( I think ) T. rex. They believed it to be made up of real dinosaur skin, bones, etc. ! Two thumbs up to the museum for that!
Prehistoric Fun

 

We first headed into the engine hall where we learnt all about the history of engines , from the early steam engines to the super sonic jets of the cold war era. The kids came to first appreciate mechanical systems, their complexities and how a combination of simple mechanisms like levers and gears can be used to realize complex actions.

From there, we headed to the Electro Technic Gallery. The kids were all charged up, pun intended, and tried to take in as much as they could.

Unfortunately some of the information wasn’t dramatic enough and also out of their scope.

Next was the Fun Science gallery that displays exhibits on sciences of sound, optics, fluids, math and perception. As promised it sure was fun! The volunteers learnt a lot too, at least I did. We then moved to the space gallery where we hobnobbed with spacemen, tried to grab at space rockets and wondered with true child like curiosity on how they use the lavatory!

Spaced out?

The biotechnology hall wasn’t paid much attention too compared to the BEL hall of electronics. The virtual game area was a huge hit with the kids. There were long winding queues to get a chance to play volleyball and football in VR.

We also loved the room of mirrors. It brought out a lot of laughs and squeals from volunteers and kids alike. After lunch, which was at the museum canteen, we headed to the last few rooms and then on our way out visited the dinosaur again. The kids couldn’t get enough.

After a quick necessary head count, we were in our buses, heading to the Jawaharlal Nehru Museum. Being a bit early for the 4:30 pm show, we lounged around the beautiful lawns at the planetarium, snacking on cake and well, water. Rain quickly ended the lounging and began a quick scoot to the shelter of the gazebo.

The kids spent the short time trying to see who could hang off the rafters the longest. Before the champion could be identified, the rain having weakened, we made a dash to the entrance.

The show at the (aptly named) Sky Theatre is a 30 min feature on The Moon. Right before the show the kids were full of questions, “What’s that for? Why are we here? Who are you? Why are you sleeping?”

As we sunk into our reclining seats and the lights dimmed some tired volunteers began to rest their eyes while the kids took in the spectacle. The show was definitely the highlight of the trip barring the dinosaur.

After the show we said our goodbyes and showed our extreme gratitude to the Oracle volunteers without whom we would never have been able to make it through the day without any fisticuffs, mishaps, injuries and disapprobation.

The bus ride back was a sight for tired eyes. The kids danced their hearts out to the latest hits in loop while we made sure they did not fall out of the windows.

It was such a great day; so what’s next?

 

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