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10 Places to Visit to Interest Your Kids in STEM

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Dave Palmer
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Great list
Dave Palmer   1/16/2015 8:34:49 AM
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@Elizabeth M: What a great idea for a list! I'd add the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I used to spend hours there when I was a kid. (Believe it or not, given today's ticket prices, the museum was free until the early 1990s). It's a short walk from Chicago's beautiful lakefront and Jackson Park's Wooded Island, which, for a city kid like me, was a great place to learn about nature. It's also a short walk from the University of Chicago and the site of the world's first controlled nuclea reaction.

Kingkrabbe
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Another possible place
Kingkrabbe   1/16/2015 10:13:33 AM
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A nice list, I've been to several of these places myself.  May I suggest Dearborn, Michigan's The Henry Ford, which consists of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.  Both of these absolutely fascinated me as a kid nearly sixty years ago.  Historic sites were brought into the Village, like Edison's laboratory and the Wright brothers' bicycle shop. In the Museum, if it moves, there's probably one on display there.

ttemple
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Re: Another possible place
ttemple   1/16/2015 10:39:57 AM
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Ford Museum is a great suggestion.  It made an impact on me when I visited it as a teenager.

The Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, and the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, FL are great air museums to add to the list.  I think Wright-Patt AF Museum in Dayton is still the largest air museum in the world, and Pensacola used to be 3rd in the world behind a museum in Germany.  You can watch the Blue Angels practice at the Pensacola Museum if you time it right.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Great list
Elizabeth M   1/16/2015 11:42:45 AM
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Thanks, Dave! Glad you liked the idea. Yes, I suspected our readers would also have some great suggestions to add to the list. That museum sounds like a great one as well. I love the museum area of Chicago; actually, the city itself is really beautiful. Sounds like kids (and adults) would get a lot out of a visit there.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Another possible place
Elizabeth M   1/16/2015 11:50:44 AM
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Another great suggestion, thanks, Kingkrabbe. I wasn't aware of that museum but it sounds like a great place to visit.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Another possible place
Elizabeth M   1/16/2015 12:09:48 PM
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Also good suggestions, ttemple. In fact, a list for just for great air and space museums could probably be done, as could a list for great places to visit overseas to interest kids in STEM.

Elizabeth M
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Suggestions?
Elizabeth M   1/16/2015 1:52:41 PM
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I've already gotten some good suggestions for other places that might have been on this list. I'm open to more! I chose these places because I thought they were a good mix between actualy institutions, like museums, and natural places that are both beautiful and can teach important lessons in geology and how nature works. There are many more not included, so it would be good to hear more about places that inspired you.


Frankly, I'm just realizing I could have very easily put the Grand Canyon on this list! Seems like a no brainer now. And it's a place I've actually been to that really inspired me (even though I didn't pursue a STEM career).

Dave Palmer
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Re: Suggestions?
Dave Palmer   1/16/2015 4:37:01 PM
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A few more engineering-related places in Illinois: the Fermilab National Accelerator in Batavia (near Chicago), the Caterpillar Visitor Center in Peoria, and the John Deere Pavillion in Moline.

It's more history- than STEM-related, but a couple years ago I took my kids on a memorable Illinois trip that included the Rock Island Arsenal (one of the few places you can see an actual M65 atomic cannon), Nauvoo (where the Mormons built their utopia in the 1840s), Cahokia (an ancient Native American city and the largest archaeological site north of Mexico), and Springfield (the state capital and home to the excellent Abraham Lincoln museum).  We also saw miles and miles of corn and soybeans.

Charles Murray
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Re: Great list
Charles Murray   1/16/2015 6:35:34 PM
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Great list, Liz. The Kennedy Space Center and Hoover Dam are two of my personal favorities. Interestingly, the Hoover Dam is a great example of engineers learning from their mistakes. The St. Francis Dam catastrophe that we wrote about a few weeks ago served as a design lesson for the engineers working on the Hoover Dam.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1395&doc_id=275998

Elizabeth M
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Re: Suggestions?
Elizabeth M   1/19/2015 8:48:04 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions, Dave. You seem very proud of Chicago--is it your hometown? ;) I agree it's a great place for culture, history, art, architecture, food etc. There are so many things in the area to see and do, and it's beautiful as well. Now if it wasn't so darned cold in the winter...

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