Chicago has the most amazing museums. With having two boys, I am constantly on the hunt to keep up with their natural born curiosity. That being said, the Museum of Science and Industry is a haven for fostering their inquisitiveness. When we were invited to attend the Spring Make Festival at the Museum of Science and Industry, I jumped at the chance. The Spring Make Festival is a four week festival for the maker in everyone. Clark and Stone attended the Engineer Your Future event on March 17th and boy did they have a ton of fun.
Spring Make Festival
The Museum of Science and Industry four week festival for expressing your creativity is for all ages. Over the course of the four weeks, events range from discovering the chemistry of brewing beer, manufacturing design, to national robotics week, to engaging with engineers in all industries. The Make Shop introduces technology such as 3D printing, circuit building, and vinyl cutting. Robotics week is a must-see for my boys, but there is something for everyone. You name it and the Spring Make Festival has it covered. I even took advantage of some of the activities while we were there. Some events and experiences require extra tickets. Don’t worry, it’s worth it.
Engineer Your Future
Clark was two years old when a passenger on a flight told me after watching him play that he would be an engineer. While completing his private school application, I was asked to use three words to describe him. I chose curious, independent, and spirited. Clark is very curious. It’s how he was wired. Stone is equally curious. I basically gave birth to two curious little boys. Hence, the level of excitement when I told them about this exhibit. Clark and Stone were so excited to attend the Spring Make Festival.
Engineer Your Future covered eight types of engineering—ranging from chemical engineering, mechanical, electrical, civil, computer, aerospace, acoustic, and environmental. Engineers from various backgrounds and careers were on hand to help them with projects and explain why they were doing the activity. The very first table we visited helped them make a catapult using a plastic spoon, a popsicle stick, and rubber bands. Stone said it was his favorite project. I’m sure the marshmallows had absolutely nothing to do with it—they launched marshmallows from their newly made catapult. In fact, Stone may have launched a marshmallow or two into his mouth.
Aerospace engineers taught the boys how to make parachutes from Ziploc bags, yarn, and tape, while acoustic engineers demonstrated how to make sound. As a parent, I loved the hands-on aspect of the engineers teaching their area of expertise. The engineer at the acoustic engineering table also gave me a list of science-based books, videos, and games to share with the boys. The live show “Failure is An Option” teaches the kids how it’s okay when things go wrong. In addition to the hands-on approach of learning with the engineers, they received collector cards that explained each activity completed.
Museum of Science and Industry
The museum is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood off of Lake Shore Drive. Even though we live in the East Village neighborhood in downtown Chicago, it only took 20 minutes to drive down Saturday morning. Did I mention they have covered parking? We literally made a day of our visit as we left a little before closing at 4pm. The food court does a great job of offering a kids’ menu at every restaurant within. Starbucks is also inside the museum for the mom that needs a mid day pick-me-up. Clearly, I am that mama. The staff are all so, so nice. An employee shared the super cool technology, virtual reality. I was able to see inside the fairy castle with the virtual reality camera. The boys enjoyed watching the baby chicks with the technology.
The gift shop was our last and final destination at the museum. I think it’s pretty impossible to leave a museum without stopping in. I love the idea of being able to purchase Chicago-inspired related products. Clark and Stone chose a 7-in-one tool that has a compass, magnifying glass, and a secret compartment. Their gadget was the icing on the cake for an action-packed day filled with curiosity, wonder, creativity, and science. And, it was all found at the Spring Make Festival.
This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are my own
Looks like a great exhibit. I have loved MSI since I was a kid.