´¯`•. September 22, 2016

RoBoT Zoo!

Still on my mad dash to catch up (and this should be it… until next week, which is already panicking the snot out of me)… erm… wait, what?  Oh!  This – our last post to catch-up last week – is about the Sunday trip we had to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Here’s how it went:  Our zoo membership expired.  We debated getting another.  I suggested we do a museum one, this year, instead.  There was a National Geographic exhibit and a Robot Zoo and a Whales of the Deep presentation, and if we’re going to Ohio next spring, I’m pretty sure we’ll get our money’s worth out of a museum membership.  Besides, the GRPM is doing Science Tuesdays for kids 10am-4pm on Tuesdays (a different theme, every month, so it’s really just one Tuesday a month)… and I thought that might be worth checking out.  Plus we’d never done the laser light show, and Brian always wanted to.  Those were enough reasons to get this membership.  Besides, for a family our size?  Two visits cost more than a membership, and the reciprocity they have allows us to go to the Air Zoo, Impressions 5, Flint Children’s museum, and 430 other places… free.  Honestly, it’s too good a deal to pass up.

Except we didn’t finally decide this until Sunday (September 18th), and the National Geographic exhibit ended September 8th.  Whoops.  And Robot Zoo was ending… oh, wait, September 18th.  That day!!!  So off we went, to the museum to get our membership and slip in to Robot Zoo on the very last day.  Talk about cutting it close!  (On the other hand, it’s not like we’re not busy…!!!!))

img_7622-555x416Definitely geared up to find out how animals work.

Because that’s what this exhibit was all about.  Using machinery and gadgets, man was trying to illustrate how the Creator assembled us as living, moving, amazing creatures.  It was a mix of physics and electronics and biology and all sorts of stuff… the kinds of things that make homeschool moms (in particular!) pant with anticipation.  Well, somewhat, anyhow.  (((blush!)))

img_7627-555x416The placards helped us not to miss anything that might be of interest.  But mostly, just watching them move their heads, necks, tongues… blink and shake their ears!… it was impressive.

img_7629-555x416Rhinoceros… with a fly-swatter tail.  Actually this one’s still under construction.

img_7630-416x555How a heart pumps blood.  There was ‘how muscles draw tension’, ‘how reflexes work’, ‘how joints move’, and ‘how air is taken in’.  All using machines and such to illustrate it.  It was really done well, the way they had it laid out and explained for the kids.


How camouflage works… or not.  LoL!!

img_7641-555x373The displays had controls to move the body, the tongue, the head,
and to change the colors, depending on the situation!

img_7647-555x352How good is your aim when catching bugs?

img_7649-444x333 img_7675-333x444
Platypus and bat…

img_7660-444x333 img_7686-328x444
Fly and Grasshopper (not shown, a really hard to photograph squid)

Each one of these had its own set of ‘games’ and interactive stations.  The fly had vision displays and sticky displays (how does a fly not fall off the wall?) and speed games, the bat had a ‘how long can you hang’, the squid… well, look:

img_7662-555x436Those kids were really pumping on their controllers to get the squids to move!

It was a really fun time.  I have to be honest, I wasn’t going in with very high hopes – most of these things are really kind of twinky and juvenile, but this was definitely not.  They learned a ton and had a great time doing it.

It also turns out that there were THREE planetarium shows that were on their way out – ‘Star Safari’, another narrated by Liam Neeson, and an ‘Extreme 360 adventure’.  Because the ‘safari’ one went best with our Robot Zoo animal theme, we saw that one in the planetarium, but free visits come with our membership, so… yeah.  We have two more to see, yet!

Anyhow, it can’t be said that we don’t have our share of new and amazing adventures, that’s for sure!

Leave a comment


  1. Hubby would have geeked out over that exhibit. How very awesome.

  2. Looks like fun! 🙂


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