Archive for the ‘Discovery Science Center’ tag
Recently on routine trips to Target to buy groceries or laundry detergent, I have been easily distracted by the giant signs and bright displays in the store’s back corner. I know that there is something over there way more exciting than my basic home necessities. As I wander further towards the back, I finally get a glimpse of what I knew was coming up ahead. School supplies! Yes, it is back to school time. As I perused the section, I noticed a young girl running down the aisle with the biggest smile on her face, arms clutched around her new prize- a neon pink Hannah Montana backpack. I am sure I once exhibited the same elated behavior: for me it was a plastic Wonder Woman lunch box. In fact, it seems like children now are just as excited as past generations about the first day of school. Last Sunday I was up half the night on a visit to my parents’ house, watching my little niece strategically plan out which new outfit to wear each day for the whole first week of classes, and trying to calm her down as she claimed, “I just can’t sleep, I’m too excited!” I wonder how many late hours have been spent over the years as kids lay awake, thinking about that first day of school.
I have to admit, though, that Hannah Montana backpack was way cooler (and likely way more pricey) than my Wonder Woman lunch box. It had near twenty pockets in it, with special compartments for water bottles and cell phones. It was difficult to think of what I had when I was a kid that was so complex. Just seeing freshly sharpened pencils was pretty thrilling, much less an entire box to store them in. I would have probably gone completely wild if someone told me I could buy markers that smelled like fruit, or better yet a calculator that could do most of my math problems for me!
As exhilarating as these things are, it would be unfair to say that these gadgets and tools are the most essential part of the school season. After all, their trendiness does not seem to detract students from being completely energetic and engaged in the experience of education both in and out of class. As if there was not enough to do (with new homework assignments now piling up), there are sports or dance practices, and endless clubs to sign up for.
If anyone is looking for a break from hanging out on campus, Fort Collins is full of fun and interesting events that provide continual learning long after the last bell rings. The Poudre River Public Library District hosts International Night, where each month you can learn the ins and outs of countries around the world. There is also a series on health and nutrition that may help your family stay healthy through the busy and sometimes stressful school season. I love that these opportunities are not limited to children or adults; instead there is something for everyone to learn. And in case your little ones aren’t quite ready for that Hannah Montana backpack, young children’s activities, like story time, pick back up in September. The Poudre River Public Library District has a great Calendar, so check it out if you want more details on their events.
Looking for more ways to entertain your brain? Here are other activities that will get you going:
With so many educational opportunities for all ages, it is no surprise that back to school excitement goes beyond just new backpacks. Sure we all love the latest stuff, but there is so much more to the school season. Though we may be pretty busy right now, we always seem to find time to continually grow in our education and in our communities. With so many new things in Fort Collins to experience, there is no end to how much you can learn.
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
The fewer expectations you have, the better.
Although we often separate art and science as distinct pursuits, innovative art and science are connected by the process of creative imagination. Throughout history, human imagination has consistently stretched the question of “why?” into the realm of “why not?” and in the process, adjusted our very concepts of reality. However you define it, Imagination, involves the process of reorganizing what we think we know. It’s the ability to question and risk seeing something outside the boundaries of what is “supposed,” to be—the rearranging of variables in new ways! Collectively, we often imagine someone like Albert Einstein, with his signature tousled hair, as a genius for his construction of knowledge and contributions to physics. Einstein published over 300 hundred scientific works, (and more than 150 non-scientific ones)—no small feat—he also said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” “
Another innovative thinker, Carl Sagan said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” Where has your imagination taken you lately? This weekend you don’t have to physically travel very far to explore new possibilities, and stretch your imagination. At the free Beet Street Imagination Fair, downtown, Fort Collins, (June 5, 5-9 p.m.) you can experience performances and demonstrations that explode the boundaries of science and technology, art and music! This month’s First Friday Gallery Walk (the monthly, evening, opportunity to explore the visual art offerings in Old Town) has an added performance dimension where cutting edge technology meets artistic expression.
On Saturday, at the Oak Street Plaza, Christopher “C3” Cardone demonstrates that becoming an accomplished musician is not a destination, but the ticket to musically travel even further. He builds his own instruments to create an amazing range of sounds and rhythms. Don’t miss your opportunity to journey to his corner of the universe—you never know what will be included in his performance! Later, That 1 Guy, aka Mike Silverman, will continue to push the limits of making music. Silverman, a classically trained upright bassist, imagined and engineered a bass out of electronically wired steel plumbing in an effort to find the perfect sound. You’re invited to hear his solutions!
At Opera Galleria (123 North College), event partner, Discovery Science Center, Colorado’s NASA link site, will showcase NASA exhibits and “hands-on” activities. You can also see award-winning student science fair exhibits. The Poudre School District’s Alpine Robotics Team 159 (students from Poudre High School, Lincoln and Preston Junior Highs) will demonstrate their robotic inventions, and the CSU Engines and Energy Conservation Laboratory will showcase their low cost, high-performance cookstoves, engineered for the developing world. Imagine that! Kids of all ages are also invited to not only listen but “play” Laser Harps with traditional harp strings replaced by laser strings. The harps were designed so that large groups can play simultaneously, using interactive movement, dance, and light to trigger sound. The result? A visual and musical performance you won’t forget! Impact Dance Company will also join in for special collaborative performances at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm.
Then on Saturday evening, creative pioneer, visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist Laurie Anderson will be in Fort Collins to follow the Imagination Fair. Get your ticket to be transported by her Burning Leaves: A Retrospective, Songs and Stories 2009 at the Lincoln Center box office. Anderson, a self proclaimed “techno-geek,” spins offbeat adventure stories, in an intimate evening of voice, electronics and violin. Her songs and stories include pieces from her acclaimed solo shows The Speed of Darkness, Happiness, The End of the Moon, and Homeland. Among many accomplishments, in 2002, Anderson was appointed the first artist-in-residence of NASA—and you can hear some of her avant-garde interpretation of her adventures into that great unknown. Don’t be surprised if her surreal melodies and your imagination sweep you off on an unexpected trip!
Nothing happens without a start as a dream.