Nauticus & USS Wisconsin
The little one seemed to be coming down with something, so we decided to stick close to home base for a few days. Our first day trip was to the Nauticus Museum in Norfolk, VA.
After poking around outside for a bit, we went in and used our ASTC membership for free admission. (If you've been following along for a while, then I hope you're keeping track of just how much money we've saved with this $65 annual family pass.) We took the escalator the third floor and began the journey down, as we traveled through time to learn about the history of ships and the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
In the submarine control room, the boys spent a lot of time exploring the different controls and taking the vessel up and down, through the waters of the different ports.
One son recruited the other to join the Navy for World War II, and then we got side-tracked by the Naval Aviation section...
My oldest, who would like to be a marine biologist, spent some time talking with real-life marine biologists about what they do and how they got to their positions. They fed the sharks and touched the sting rays....
.....but their hands-down favorite of the inside part of the museum was getting to drive the submersible vessel. They used the robot arms to pick up objects on the sea floor, and learned that it is a really difficult thing to do! After a little 'discussing' whose turn it was to pick things up again, we decided it was time to head outside for some fresh air.
Beside the museum stands the USS Wisconsin, a Naval submarine from the WWII era, now used as an educational piece. It was considerably larger inside than the outside even lets on!
We took a few hours to explore every nook and cranny possible on the sub. It combined our science, history, engineering, and physical education lessons all into one for the day!
The boys were most fascinated by the radio / communications room of the submarine. All those switches and knobs...!
Closer to Home Base
We visited the pumpkin patch down the street to help our pick out pumpkins for them to decorate and carve into jack-o-lanterns. There were lots of bouncy houses there, but it was mostly younger children playing on them. We had never seen so many pumpkins in one place!
OK - so the Virginia Air & Space Museum is our first NASA passport stop where we've really only run inside to grab the stamp. The littlest was having a terrible respiratory day, and the nebulizer had broken, so no one was either physically or mentally in the mood to go to another museum. After a full day, and five pharmacies, we finally got a new breathing machine (score!), but it came at the sacrifice of a space tour. Luckily, they were very nice about letting us get the stamp, since we had traveled all the way here!
The kids had never seen a drawbridge before....watching their reactions was entirely worth sitting here for ten minutes....
Over the weekend, we all walked down the street to a garage sale, where we found this cute art kit for making sun-prints on cloth. The weather cooperated, and the boys made their cousin a cute pillowcase with leaf prints. With more time and planning, this could be used to make some very cool, original, cloth for sewing!
Nauticus Educational Resources (free to print out)
E-books about boats & ships (FREE)
Online games & puzzles (FREE)
Virtual Field Trip video to the Nauticus Museum
Did you really think we'd not figure out a way to get Legos in here....?
We rarely get to see the family, so this was a wonderful week-long visit!!!