Tonawanda News

November 4, 2013

THROUGH THEIR EYES: It's a whole new science museum in Buffalo

--
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — My memories of the Buffalo Museum of Science were actually a bit static.

No, really. Stuffed-creatives-behind-glass static. That’s what I thought of when I remembered the museum, the site for various childhood field trips other excursions. I like them well enough (and who doesn’t like dinosaurs, whose bony remains I also remembered viewing with fondness), but it wasn’t a place to which I was eager to return — even I who love museums.

After a hiatus of years, probably decades, I returned a handful of years ago to take the boys to a Sesame-Street-themed exhibit at the museum. And it was a hit — the exhibit. Not so much the museum. I recall that they liked the dinosaurs. Nothing else made that much of an impression of them. Or on me, apparently. I can’t even remember what year this was.

This year, we returned, propelled by both the gift of a museum membership by a family member and the urging of Lifestyle Editor Danielle Haynes. I was, perhaps, a little skeptical, but always willing to try something new.

And parents, let me tell you: If you’re not taking your kids to the Museum of Science because of decades-old memories of static exhibits, think again.

You might have noticed that a lot of these columns involve the perceptions of my younger son. This is not because the older one doesn’t get to do anything. But Jim is a law onto himself, and he likes what he likes. Sometimes he clues me in on why. Sometimes, he doesn’t. We manage. 

Well, he liked this.

The new studios that have been added to the museum over the past two years are a marvel and we landed, on our trip, mostly in the Our Marvelous Earth studio. My water-loving boy was drawn, like a magnet, to the area with flowing water in which children could tinker with aspects of erosion. He puttered. He experimented.

And it was good.

Sam ran around as much as Jim stayed put. The wind area was a hit (cranking it up to hurricane level). He loved experimenting with the earthquake exhibit. We went over to the Explore YOU studio and played around there, talking a bit about anatomy. 

The In Motion Studio, which opened in July wasn’t quite an enormous a hit, but Sam was attracted nearly immediately to the car races and gravity machine. When the time came to leave, I literally had to drag him out.

We haven’t visited the Bug Works studio yet, but I’m looking forward to it — as I am to the culture, biodiversity, extinction and especially space studios opening thereafter. We’ll be back.

And we’ll visit the dinosaurs, too.

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at jill.keppeler@tonawanda-news.com. Follow her on Twitter @JillKeppeler.

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Buffalo Museum of Science • WHERE: 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo • HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week • COST: $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children 2 to 17, students and military with ID • FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.sciencebuff.org or call 896-5200