Monday, December 7, 2009
Science of Spying
We visited the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas to check out their Science of Spying exhibit. Nicholas loves playing spy games so this was a fun treat for him...but I must admit that Mommy, Daddy, and even Rachel had fun too.
A spy must be coordinated and careful. Nicholas got to test his abilities at removing a single stick of dynamite from a bundle without letting it touch the other sticks around it. If it touches the others then **BOOM!**
What creative ways can a spy learn something about another person? How about checking out their trash can for 3 weeks? Although it is a dirty project, just imagine how much you could learn about a person if you studied them like this. Fortunately, this station wasn't messy but Nicholas got to dig through Mr. Grant's trash can to determine the answers to some questions. Here he is holding a discarded parking pass to a golf country club which lists the date, time and vehicle info. Nicholas uses this to answer the question about what Mr. Grant did that day. Did he attend a golf tournament, nanotechnology conference or get Chinese takeout?
Although spies are always studying other people, they also have to be careful not to be seen themselves. This station has a video screen showing you in a crowded city block and you have to mark the possible people or cameras that could be watching you. Nicholas did well but missed a few potential danger zones.
Spies must be able to tell when people are telling them the truth and when they are lying. This station taught us a little about lie detection. We each had a screen that prompted us with what to say. Nicholas asked questions of me and then had to determine if I was telling the truth or a lie.
We saw hidden messages through special glass. Here we thought is was just a pretty picture of some red roses and green leaves but when we moved the special glass over one of the roses, we saw an outline of a pen. Cool!
Next we entered the spy technology section. There are some keys from a giant computer keyboard scattered throughout this room. Nicholas discovered that they light up when you sit on them. I was thrilled to see an N and an R right next to each other so Nicholas and Rachel could pose together for a picture!
Rachel loved sitting on the keys and listening to the sound of her feet kicking the sides. That was really the only way to make her key light up since her weight is too light to register that she was sitting on it.
At this station we had to quickly press the coordinating buttons to unlock the access port. But hurry! You don't have much time!
We got to look through peep holes and experience periscope technology in which you look through a hole in one part of the wall but you see an image that is 10 feet to the right of where you are looking.
And we used one-way mirrors to spy on Daddy. Notice that Nicholas has turned on the light to illuminate his face for Daddy to see.
This station had a tool that you run over the wire form without touching it. Mommy had trouble with it but it was nearly impossible to succeed with the little guy bumping my hand each time! Maybe he's a double agent?
In the Future Lab, we saw cool gadgets like cameras in baby doll eyes.
And a scanner that could detect the presence of a person by recognizing the outline of a body. This was lots of fun as we each tried to walk through it in funny ways to make different silhouettes of our bodies in hopes of trying to outsmart the scanner.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! We had fun and learned some cool things about spying with some fun interactive exhibits. We definitely recommend checking out the Science of Spying because it's only here until January 4, 2010!