Tag Archives: fun

JPL Open House is Back!

OK, I admit it, I’m totally geeking out…

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, is bringing back their Open House this fall!  If you are a fan of the JPL Open House then you might remember that it was cancelled last year due to the sequester.  Fortunately, that’s behind us and this important and exciting public event will be taking place on Saturday, October 11, and Sunday, October 12, 2014, from 9am to 4pm.

Not familiar with it?  Well, let me tell you, if you live anywhere near Pasadena and are even a little bit of a space geek then you will absolutely love the open house (and if you are not a space geek when you arrive, there’s a good chance that you will be one by the time you leave!).  It’s a cross between a science fair and Disneyland.  If that’s not enough to entice you, then it might help to know that admission and parking are FREE.

There is almost too much to do in a single day.  So, you might want to consider coming on Saturday so that you can come back on Sunday to catch the things you miss the first time around.  The past few times they’ve had working models of various rovers cruising over rocks right as you enter the property (the place is huge and hilly, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes).  In the building immediately to the left, there was a scale model of the Curiosity rover and a welcome video showcasing the breadth of dynamic work they do at JPL.  To the right there was an outdoor display about the work of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers.  I remember spending over an hour exploring these areas alone.

That, however, is just the tip of the iceberg!  You’ll want to be sure to visit the Space Flight Operations Facility, which serves as mission control for a variety of current missions, and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, which features the clean room where everything from the Voyager spacecraft to the Curiosity rover were built.  There is too much to list, but highlights of the event include robotics demonstrations, current and upcoming mission showcases, and hands-on activities for the kids.

Here are a few tips.  Arrive early to ensure parking and shorter lines.  Bring drinking water, sunscreen, and some cash for lunch at one of the many food booths.  Wear comfortable walking shoes (as mentioned above).  Finally, not to lay it on too think, but be sure to bring your scientific curiosity and a sense of adventure!

 

Worthy of note:  If you’re not available the weekend of October 11th and 12th, then you might want to take advantage of one of JPL’s free public tours.

12 Things You Say to Your Preschooler and What Your Preschooler Hears

Preschoolers have inquisitive minds, joyous spirits and they’re generally one heck of a lot of fun to have around, but what you say and what they hear are never the same thing.  Here are a dozen things you say and the preschooler translations.

1.  You Say:  “This is a new food. Try it.”
Preschooler Hears:  “This is disgusting. Eat it.”

2.  You Say:  “Listen to me.”
Preschooler Hears:  “The next thing to come out of my mouth is going to bore you to death. Hey look, a butterfly!”

3.  You Say:  “Mommy/Daddy has to go to work.  Enjoy your first day of preschool!”
Preschooler Hears:  “Farewell, my friend. I’m leaving and I don’t know when or if I will be back again. We had some good times though, didn’t we?”

4.  You Say:  “I need to make an important phone call, so please be quiet and play by yourself for just a few minutes.”
Preschooler Hears:  “You and I just don’t talk enough anymore. How’ve you been? Say, is there anything I can do for you? Are you hungry? Perhaps I could fix you a light snack.”

5.  You Say:  “Quiet down.”
Preschooler Hears:  “I’m really old and don’t hear so well. Please scream into my good ear.”

6.  You Say:  “Don’t you dare do that.”
Preschooler Hears:  “This might be your last chance to do that. Hurry!”

7.  You Say:  “Why did you do that?”
Preschooler Hears:  “Look innocent and slightly confused, and keep your mouth shut.”

8.  You Say:  “This won’t hurt.”
Preschooler Hears:  “This is going to hurt. A lot.”

9.  You Say:  “This might hurt a little.”
Preschooler Hears:  “You are about to experience pain like you have never known. Run!”

10.  You Say:  “Daddy/Mommy is in the bathroom.”
Preschooler Hears:  “You need to go potty. Right now. Don’t you feel that pressure on your bladder wall? Please ask me to move. If I ask you to wait, just go anywhere.”
(Alternate Translation: See #4, above.)

11.  You Say:  “Bath time!”
Preschooler Hears:  “I want to be soaked from head to toe.”

12.  You Say:  “Bedtime!”
Preschooler Hears:  “Let the games begin!”