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Big Learning News 1-05-05

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 3:1 January 5, 2005

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Table of Contents


Family Travel Destination and web site: The Exploratorium in San Francisco
Book Review : The Man who Walked Between the Towers


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Family Travel Destination and Web Site

The Exploratorium (San Francisco, California, US)

Ages 4 to Adult

We've been to plenty of science museums in our family travels. To us, they're all pale immitations of the Exploratorium. Sure, most science museums have a good exhibit or two, but none match the consistent cleverness, scientific depth, religious dedication to hands-on learning, and sheer gee-whiz that the Exploratorium offers. Where else can you see live mutated fruit flies crawl about under a microscope, watch yourself floating in mid air, and train yourself to sing on pitch, all in one day? The Exploratorium has it all - electricity and magnetism, science of vision and sound, life science, and lots more, plus a really terrific museum shop.

Even if you're not going to be in San Francisco any time soon, don't miss their totally cool web site at

http://www.exploratorium.edu/

Young kids will like the illusions pages, especially this one:

http://www.exploratorium.edu/seeing/exhibits/disappearing.html

The step-dancing page lets you construct your own rhythmic dance. Don't miss the "What's Going On" link that shows a step-dance video clip and explains the music/science.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/music/exhibits/stepping/index.html

 

Your teenage physics student and skateboarder will love the skateboarding science page

http://www.exploratorium.edu/skateboarding/

 

Here's the index for all the online activities on the site:

http://www.exploratorium.edu/explore/online.html

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Book Review

The Man who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Book Press, 2003)

Ages 6-11

On August 6, 1974, Philippe Petit snuck up the stairs at the top of the nearly-complete south tower of the World Trade Center, and with help from friends, strung a cable between the two towers. As August 7th dawned, he began his hour long high-wire walk between the two towers, a quarter mile above street level without a net. This book is the story of his walk, told in beautiful language and vivid illustrations. It's funny, astonishing, and a touching tribute to one day in the life of the towers that are no longer there.

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