From Mary’s Desk:

The cube is the clue that you are about to enter a very different place, the Science Discovery Center in Irvine. Kids and adults of all ages were challenged and entertained by the hands on exhibits, be it computerized earthquakes, radio broadcasting, playing virtual hockey or the science of flowing water. With three adults and three kids we each took a kid and went separate ways.

Theo practiced on the climbing wall. He attached appendages that represent ailerons to his arms and experienced the forces of wind in a wind tunnel. He lived through 3 major earthquakes in a shaking machine while watching video of Kobe, Japan, Lomo Prieta, California, and another major quake from Santiago, Chili.

His favorite activity was making a short movie with three plastic animals as the participants. I didn’t count, but I’d guesstimate there were 80 to 100 hands-on encounters on two floors. What you didn’t know amazes.
In the afternoon  a Science of Bubbles show, fascinating and entertaining, resembled magic. Who would have thought bubbles are studied for their scientific properties of value?

Later in the day, Owen was quite impressed that his younger cousin uses a skate board park. Austin is 7 and Owen is 10, a good reason to think he could try it.The beauty of this Etnie’s Park is the management. Lessons are given, kids are watched and coached. They must wear protective gear and so on. Nicely done.

Austin’s lessons show to good advantage, back foot in maneuverable position, wide, strongly balanced stance. He is undaunted by deep bowls and up-hill runs and small jumps. He knows how to go over the side of a deep bowl.

Owen, without ever a lesson, tackled hills and bowls as well, and learned gobs. Nicely done.

Theo enjoyed rolling down the grassy hill and playing about the grounds while we adults played Bananagrams at a table.
Montana parents told us that this Portola Hills Etnie’s is considered the best skate board park in the world and folks come from all over to use it, which is why they brought their son. Quite an accolade. If you are in Southern California, a great place to take your kids.

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