Have your children “played” with wind? Are your children curious about why a marshmallow turns black after roasting over a fire? Does your child ever get to see water rapids forming in a river? A massive nine feet t tall replica of the earth in the center of the room immediately catches children’s attention and inspires awe; while smaller scaled globes and models demonstrate the earth’s rotation indicating “daytime” and “nighttime.”
Children will explore and experiment with the earth’s elements— water, wind, and fire—in a way that ignites their imagination and stirs excitement. There are three wind tunnels that simulate varying wind speeds that children can use to watch different items “fly” into the air to demonstrate the effects of wind. Children are also introduced to the types of weather that involve wind and the effects different weather phenomena have on people and buildings. Children can also experiment with the different effects of water on living things in the Earth Area by creating raging rapids or still lagoons as they control water flow in a functioning water table. This activity incites discussion about Earth’s bodies of water from ponds, to lakes, to rivers, to oceans, and leads to learning about various weather phenomena involving water. Fire is introduced in the Earth Area using items such as a toasted marshmallow to show children the effects of fire on objects and how it the changes color, shape, and consistency of different things. Safety is an important factor learned in this area as children must be encouraged to respect fire and other earthly elements or risk endangering themselves or others.
To enhance the exploration of Planet Earth, the Earth Area contains a rock viewer to view rocks, minerals, shells, insects, and other objects from the Earth’s many layers under a high intensity magnifying glass. Not only are children exposed to Earth layers and its elements, they also learn about taking care of their planet through recycling and other environment protection activities. Children will learn about related careers involved with Earth and its elements including scientist, geologist, and meteorologist.
Come see future “rock” stars in action in the Earth Area!