Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Vacationing in the PNW - A Visit to OMSI

We just returned from our annual Spring vacation and it completely wore me out. If you have any plans to visit Oregon or Washington and will be passing through the Portland area, you really must check out OMSI -  The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

OMSI

OMSI is a great destination for families because it allows kids to get hands on with science. My son, who is a big fan of the Discovery Channel, was over the moon to find out that the traveling exhibit featured at OMSI during our visit was MYTHBUSTERS The Explosive Exhibition.

OMSI

This exhibit will be open through May 5th, 2013. These two crazy guys, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, try to answer questions, myths and urban legends through experimentation. They determine whether a previous assumption is confirmed or busted using the scientific method but also doing things the rest of us would only dream about. Many of their explosions and more dangerous experiments should not be attempted at home, but these two special effects and stunt gurus do it for us so we can safely watch and learn from home.

The exhibit is packed with actual items used in the shows, video clips, explanations and the chance to even try some of the experiments yourself.

OMSI

From trying to create a structure that can withstand wind gusts to whether toast always tends to land butter-side down, the kids (or just kids at heart) are invited to try their own experiment.

OMSI

OMSI

My husband had pretty good success at the Tablecloth Chaos exhibit, and my son even tried his hand at it. Now, haven't we all dreamed of mastering the tablecloth pull-out? I'm just glad it wasn't attempted with my dishes.

Another popular part of the exhibit included an indoor rain chamber where you could hypothesize whether you became more wet walking through rain or running through it. They even included black lights and mirrors so you could check out the results.

Overall this exhibit was a lot of fun and as with any portion of OMSI we could have spent all day just playing around. Wanting to pack in as much as possible we also explored the general science experiment area full of paper cups, wind tunnels, earthquake simulation houses, robots and paper airplanes. All of the exhibits were hands-on and child friendly.

OMSI

The highlight of the trip for my husband and son though was the tour of the USS Blueback (SS- 581) submarine. This sub was the U.S. Navy's last non-nuclear, fast-attack submarine and the first battle-ready class of submarines to use the teardrop hull. It's claim to fame was having been used for the movie The Hunt For Red October for both the Russians and the American interior shots.

Because the interior is a little cramped and the doorways are small, in order to be admitted everyone must pass through this door. With a little prompting even my 3-year old was able to make it, though inside she needed assistance on the steep and narrow stairways between levels.

OMSI

Overall it was an afternoon well spent. Next time we really should budget for a full day, but the kids still had a blast.

If you live nearby or are passing through the Portland area with your kids, be sure to put OMSI on your list of places to see. They do a great job of making science fun for the whole family.

*Disclaimer - This is not a sponsored post. No discount or promotion was provided for this review. All opinions and experiences are my own.
Andrea
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