Quote of awesomeness: “What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing” ~ Aristotle
YOU CAN BUILD ROBOTS… ROBOTS!
Okay, okay, let’s go back to the beginning.
<<<<<< reversing time <<<<<<
We went to this museum in San Jose at the heart of Silicon Valley called Tech Museum. You have to visit, go now, like I’m not joking. Joke. Finish this blog first. Anyways, this museum is made up of plenty of different things and we’re just about to dive into it any moment now.
Ticket Prices for Museum:
Student/Senior 65+: $19
Child (3-17): $19
There is an Education IMAX center which is a separate payment and is excluded when you pay for the museum. But, if you would like to check out the IMAX (I haven’t gone to this one but it looks cool beans) there are different fees and combos you can check at their website The Tech.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t lose your ticket and keep it ready to use because most of the machines, videos and most activities will need the barcode on your ticket to activate (awesome stuff)
ANN & JOHN DOERR PRESENT BODY WORLDS DECODED
Our first stop which we went to, was the top floor where one side was actual bodies where they are posing in a specific way and the skin isn’t there so all you can see is the muscle. Sure, it’s not the best site to see but these people (Eight of them here to be exact) donated they’re bodies for the sake of science and for us to learn, so while respecting them, let’s start learning more. This area had the actual heart, lungs and the even the nervous system.
When you leave the BODY WORLDS DECODED part of the top floor, you will pass by 5 small hubs located at the sides. These hubs were addressing a few and specific major problems which also have videos in each hub consisting of the problem, solution and the impact. It was hard to watch especially for my younger sisters, Chloe and Beatrize, who learned how so many families and kids their ages, our ages, were in need of urgent help.
REBOOT REALITY: a digital experience lab
The other end was way cooler than my mind expected. There were stations of interactive VR which looked extremely fun. A VR is also known as Virtual Reality. It’s a headset which you place over your eyes and this amazing piece of technology transports you to a totally different universe, place or world. There was this one station where you lie down facing downward, wear the VR, and put your hands through these two sort of flap looking like thing which lays at your sides. Anyways, there is a display screen which shows everyone what the person who is riding and wearing the vp can see. He was transported to the clouds, over the buildings and transformed as……. a bird! The flap things I mentioned that were located at the sides of the person using it were his wings. He had to flap it to fly higher and when he didn’t flap he went lower, also her had to turn his body slightly to the left or vise versa when trying to dodge the buildings. It was also really funny to see. There were other stations of VR as well but everything was occupied, unfortunately for us. TIP: If you want to make sure you would have your turn at the VR stations I suggest booking online beforehand. But, if you do find yourself in this situation where you aren’t able to book it and the interactive VR’s are not available there is a small area where you can just check a VR and see some of our “future buildings”.
INNOVATIONS IN HEALTH CARE
Once you zoom past then digital experience lab, there is a small hall which leads you to a section of innovations which have been created and games. There were about 5-6 large looking iPads on the walls and each had a problem and the solutions that were found. The five things which you had the option to select from was:
[For example the problem is vaccinations]
1. FIND YOUR WHY (This is the problem)
– There are plenty of kids and adults who are in need of vaccinations but they hurt right?
2. IMAGINE (What the problem is and what needs to be changed)
– Yes, they are the most commonly used. But, did you know that 20% of the population fears needles (I certainly am part of this percent who gets the wobbly legs for needles) and avoid getting their supposedly rightfully needed vaccination? Also, there are about 1.3 million deaths each year caused by accidental needle sticks which causes infection to the person giving the shot. Terrible, I know. Another thing is these needles have to be stores in a cold place but this is a challenge for some areas around the world as electricity that could be relied on is lacking. So much requirements for this needle which most of our world’s population don’t enjoy to have.
LUCKY for us, Mark Kendall (a biomedical engineer) has created a vaccination device which needles nor refrigerators don’t even come into the vocabulary.
This invention is even more effective compared to the traditional shots, and it consisted of: a square, silicon Nanopatch which measures 1 Square cm, covered with 20,000 tiny spikes coated with vaccine. There is no pain and it’s way for efficient.
5. REFLECT AND SHARE
I give a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Mark Kendall because creating such a device as this is a tipping point for injections. And, I haven’t tried this silicon patch yet but I want to try to get my vaccination this way.
OKAY, enough talk about needles and those stuff let’s talk more about the games they had!
Fuuuuuuun Fact: Dog’s sense of smell is over 10,000 times better than yours and they have 50 times more receptors than humans. And, we humans, detect odor chemicals in the air with these receptors. So, imagine having your sense of smell * 50, no wonder dogs have such sensitivity to the faintest smells.
Game #1: Sniff it out
I played this one game with my sister where you sniff from this hole and you have to identify what it is and choose your answer on the computer provided. It was funny because the deeper you went into the game the more intense it is. And, believe me when I say this, when you see your sibling or your friend or anyone repeatedly pressing on the button to release the smell, then, sniffing hard and bringing your nose closer on the scent and looking around with a Sherlock Holmes look while their nose turn slightly red from inhaling in too much just to distinct whether it was grass mixed bubblegum or popcorn, you can’t help but give out a good ‘ol laugh. It’s hilarious, really.
Game #2: Surgery
I don’t exactly know why it’s called surgery but….oh well. This activity is played better with two people. On the table, each person would sit on the opposite side of each other while facing each other. Person No.1 would have the blocks on their side, while Person No.2 would have the instructions on how to build and what you will be building. There are a few choices you can pick from the instruction manual like: a skyscraper, a train, tower 1, and more. Basically, Person No.2 would just instruct Person No.1 using words and specifics. It is a fun game but can be challenging.
This game consists of two challenges which you can pick from. The first one you have your blocks and a timer. You can have to build a house with a roof under an amount of seconds while closing you eyes. The second challenge is to make a building which has a weight of only 8oz. Don’t worry there is a small platform located at the side of the table where you place your building to measure the ounces. The challenge in this one is to only put one block on the pressure plate. It’s awesome especially if you’re practicing on balancing blocks on each piece.
[I’m going to add a story effect because it’s cooler that way]
You venture forward leaving the games behind and wonder how much longer the top floor has left, but it’s not like a bad thing because it’s just too fun. BUT THEN, you peer down on your watch or your phone and see the time veering towards lunch time. You look up and think to yourself “I’m not even that hungry anyway” but then another thought comes through your mind “I want to see the bottom floor of them museum” as you look to the lower ground and see the other activities which lies ahead. As all these things travel about in your mind, you find your feet suddenly stopping. Before you can complain there are bright colors and so much movement and motion which take place and distract you. You’ve just stopped at the lab. On your right, there are colors and machines which don’t seem familiar to you and a sign which says “living colors” also to your left you see a- your thoughts got interrupted once again but by someone else, “Hi!” A voice behind calls, you swerve around with a smile planted on your face and greet back [okay, story time over]….. we were greeted by yet another kind staff which showed us how to create these germs digitally which you can test and try out. There were about four more other stations which we’re occupied and we even programmed it like: When release red, turn into blue, or, when with stranger (like a germ which it isn’t familiar with) then turn fuzzy .
SPIES AND HACKS
We first ran to this whole section which gave out a Spy and Hack type of vibe which really just temporarily blinded everything else around it once I saw it and stood out (in a good way) so we had to go to it first.
a hidden message
There are three steps which we carefully went through in order to the decipher the code given to us. The first one was called the Cardan Grille where we had to rotate the cylinder in order to find the hidden message. Once we found that, we went to the second step which is called Rail Fence where we moved the letter accordingly which matched from the hint we got from the Cardan Grille. Lastly, the Caesar Shift (It’s not a salad bowl), where you have to rotate the dial accordingly to the information you gathered from the Rail Fence. I’m not going to tell you what the message is because I’m not going to spoil the answer.
YOU CAN BUILD ROBOTS… ROBOTS!! To be frank, I enjoyed this the most because building robots is cooler than cool and funner than fun. It’s, in my opinion, both awe-spiring and very enjoyable. If you know how to make robots and do some programming you’re an awesome person, if you don’t know how you’re still very awesome. We were assisted by one of the staffs who joyfully showed us how to operate the whole system. We each had a portable source of power which were on wheels and which we placed our robot stuff on. First thing that we were taught was the input and output. We control our output with our input. An example, your switch is your input and an LED (Light-Emitting Diode) is your output. When you put your parts (the input and output) on the energy source and connect both the input and the output with [insert name of wiring connector] then your results would just be delighting, your LED would light up. Once we got down to the basics, we were given the independence of creating and adding more to our robot. And, the input and outputs didn’t consist of just ‘ol buttons and a few LED’s, there were a vast different kinds to pick from like: motors which spin around, distance sensors, and more.
There are plenty more that is yet to be discovered such as the space section part where you can move a mars rover and go on a simulator which you move with two joysticks. I just have to say that going to this museum will give you a blast. I learned so much and at the same time had so much fun. This is the way to learn and it’s very effective. Yes, while books are good at giving information, museums such like these help as you can see the actual thing and the more interactive the more it helps to stick in your mind and aid in learning better and smarter.
Stay awe-spiring my awesome humans!