2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview
Have you had the talk with your kids yet about renewable energy?
OK, it's probably not one of those topics on your discussion list
right now, but a visit to a new exhibit at Kohl Children's Museum
can make it something both kids and grown-ups want to talk
Powered by Nature is a new permanent exhibit at the museum that
uses interactive stations to familiarize kids 3-8 with natural ways
to power the earth.
The museum had already been using renewable resources, through
solar panels and a wind turbine, when the staff decided they could
expand what they were doing by educating kids on the topic.
"The Powered by Nature exhibit ties together everything we have
operating," says Sheridan Turner, the museum's CEO. The museum
staff worked with Argonne National Lab, as well as local teachers
and parents, to design the exhibit.
The result is five interactive stations where children learn to
conduct their own experiments using natural energy sources to
discover the power of nature.
One of Turner's favorites is the windmill station, where kids
can try out different blades on the windmills. "They can take
different shapes of blades and different combinations of blades and
when they turn the wind on, they can see which generates more
energy, which turns into electricity, which lights up the apartment
Turner also says kids will enjoy the magnifying glass simulation
where they can manipulate the sun to melt things, such as chocolate
and an ice pop. When weather permits, the outdoor piece is a solar
symphony with solar panels kids can maneuver.
"They can cover and uncover them and when the panel is in direct
contact with the sun, it will turn on something like a carousel,
which turns on musical instruments, and they get this beautiful
music," she says.
The exhibit, which opened Nov. 1, is included in the price of
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