When learning about the weather during a recent homeschool lesson, I didn’t think to explain the difference between weather and climate. It’s actually something that I haven’t really thought in depth about. That is, until I viewed the Weather to Climate Our Changing World exhibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. You’ll know from previous posts that we are members of the museum. Because we love all of the great exhibits they have, and the way they break down information for everyone, we’ll continue our membership. Especially relevant is the membership allows us to not have to carry our things around with us. If you’re ever in charge of littles, then you know exactly what I mean.
On this day, Lil Miss and I got to spend some one on one time together. We walked gingerly through the exhibit to learn the difference between weather and climate. She was able to go to each and every interactive display and take her time learning and asking questions. Her favorite seemed to be the Carbon Reducer game, which followed a person through the day to see if they could cut down on carbon dioxide.
The stations include everything from creating a weather resistant animal to pretending that you are a meteorologist (for Chicagoans that wold be challenging our own Tom Skilling) and predicting the weather for our area. As stated above, Lil Miss enjoyed the Carbon Reducer digital game, and played until she got a perfect score. Now I’m told how to reduce carbon dioxide on a daily basis, and she enjoys knowing that she’s imparting her wisdom into the atmosphere.
This exhibit creates dialogue around climate change, which so many seem to be uncomfortable with discussing, but it is great, and sometimes very sobering to see the facts and stats right in front of our face. No worries though. Everything isn’t so sad! All of the interactive stations helped museum visitors figure out ways that they can slow down the effects of climate change, because we all know that that conversation is the elephant in the room.
One of those stations was a spinning wheel that was a hit with all children. Essentially, you spin a wheel, and try to find the best environment the animal would need in order to survive. Especially relevant, is the fact that most kids seemed to want to know what weather certain animals WOULDN’T survive in. Mostly things like rats and cockroaches, because who needs those?
Creating rain clouds was also a bright spot for Lil Miss! The big fluffy pillows made her “want to take a nap,” and I agreed, except I need the real thing. Thunderstorms are better than a cup of chamomile tea when trying to get to sleep quickly, hence the natural sleep aid. They always do the job!
If you’re looking for a great spot in the Chicagoland area, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a great spot to go! Go early or a little closer to closing to avoid crowds, and even better become a member so you can drop in whenever you want, we did!
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N Cannon Drive
Chicago, Il 60614
April 2 – July 31
Adults $9 Children 3-12 $6 Children under 3 – Free