Explora!

In our continuing effort to explore Albuquerque – we made plans for Friday night with friends to go to Explora!  “Explora!” is a science museum in Albuquerque and about once a month – they host adults’ nights – which is a brilliant idea.  Because going to a science museum and watching kids interact with exhibits – not all that interesting.  Getting to play with the exhibits yourself – ka-ching!

Explora! is near Old Town Albuquerque – so we decided to get dinner beforehand at La Crepe Michel.  As you can imagine – the menu is dominated by crepes (although they do have salads and some other entrees).  But we all focused on the crepes.  They had a list of about 9 savory crepes – between the four of us we tried saumon et asperges, porc dijonnaise, fruit de mers, and champignons.  I forgot to take pictures – but everyone enjoyed their meals.  I had the fruit de mers in a buckwheat crepe (gluten free) and it was pretty good, but it didn’t knock me out of the park – it was filled with scallops and shrimp (very, very tiny shrimp) and I thought that the seafood was a bit tough.

Ah – but then we moved on to dessert.  I tried the Crepes David – chocolate, nutella, vanilla ice cream and chantilly cream – really, need I say more?  It was delicious:

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The others with me tried pears, bananas with rum and chocolate, and strawberries (all of them had chantilly cream).  Derek had the bananas with rum and chocolate and somehow snuck a bite of mine – he later reported that mine was much better than his.

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On to the museum.  We walked over there and had a blast checking out all of the exhibits.

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Always fun to checkout a rube goldberg contraption:IMG_1648

They had fun displays on airflow and since at least two of us were aero majors (Derek as an astro major, doesn’t really get into the airflow thing) – we had fun here. Derek is checking out the Bernoulli flow demonstration:IMG_1649

And we got to fly a mini-plane – I rocked this (perhaps my previous experience flying sailplanes helped).  The elevator / angle of attack worked pretty well, but the rudder was a mess.  Here’s our friend Jeremy taking his turn:

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Then they had an experiment bar and tonight’s experiment was Drawing Machines.  They had a whole bunch of random supplies – egg cartons, stiff foam, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, big lego blocks, rubber bands, etc. – plus mini-rotary motors and battery packs (plus hot glue to help afix things).  Then you just try and build a machine that with its motion would “draw.”  This was surprisingly hard – and we had to iterate several times to get ours to work.  But it did indeed work (admittedly, our dude was not a very fast drawer).  Here is our machine mid-way:

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and then finished:

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There were several cool vibrations exhibits.  But – I had a blast at the bubble exhibit.  Yes – this is something all kids have played with – but these bubble wands / soapy water – worked amazingly well and easily and we were able to form enormous bubbles:

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Yup – that’s a perfectly formed full bubble (that left my wand)IMG_1667

We stayed essentially to closing (10pm) and had a blast.  I would definitely check out another adults night.

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