Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Jellyfish and More!

Today we took the kids to the New England aquarium, which is awesome. The special exhibit right now is on jellyfish. You cannot imagine how cool it is. The fish are slow moving blobs that the museum have illuminated with various colored lights. You can change the colors by spinning a knob. The exhibit is well thought out, the lowest part of the glass comes to just about the height of my son (who is 20 months) so he can easily look in and see what is going on. They also have a part where you can see jellyfish eggs, larvae, and babies. It is equipped with a sliding magnifying glass so that you can look all over the tank, and there are two of them: one at adult height and one at child height. Again, it was well thought out.

After the Jellies, we went to watch the penguins, which were swimming and feeding. My son kept shouting "bird, bird", very loudly. This persisted until we made it slightly higher into the exhibits and it changed to "shark, shark!" Finally, we ended with a visit to the starfish and hermit crabs, which you can touch. Even my son who would just as soon take a bite out of one as 'pet' it, was able to enjoy. On the way out I noticed that the first floor is equipped with a 'real' scientific laboratory that is enclosed in glass so that visitors can watch scientists in action. It was so touching.

Seeing the wonder of those animals twittering to and fro in the water, the silent elegence of the jellies, and the excitment on my children's faces, remind me why I am a scientist. The world is full of beautiful things waiting to be discovered.


At 2:25 PM , Blogger delentye said...

I love the NEA, and your blog! Did you all get a chance to enjoy the "petting zoo" exhibit with the starfish and sea urchins as well?

At 11:37 AM , Blogger PhD Mom said...

Yes, that is my kids favorite part. Unfortunately though it is mobbed on the weekend, and my son got impatient and through one of those on the floor kicking and screaming fits, necessitating a quick departure.


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