It’s Panda-monium!

Last week my sons and I got a sneak peak at “Pandas,” an IMAX movie that opens this weekend.

This documentary, which took three years to shoot, has lots of appeal. It’s educational – showing viewers the challenges pandas face in the world in terms of breeding, handling tough terrain and overall survival. Pandas are an endangered species around the world, mostly due to humans developing properties on their land, and the lack of bamboo, their primary food source.

“Pandas” grabs your heart too. It’s hard not to love these cuddling looking bears that we typically only see at the zoo.

When we first meet these cute pandas, they’re newborns, adorable and looking like stuffed animals. We see them cooing as babies and then we watch them – one panda in particular, “Qian Qian,” pronounced Chen Chen – grow up on camera and learn to navigate the world.

The pandas are born at the Chengdu Panda Base in China, a breeding center which has helped breed over 200 baby pandas. In the movie, the scientists interact with the pandas and they explain how they’re tracking the animals and helping them thrive in the wild.

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The movie took three years to shoot. The Chengdu Panda Base, which has helped over 200 baby pandas born during her tenure. Viewers meet the  scientists interacting with the pandas and they explain how they’re tracking the animals and helping them thrive in the wild.

We loved the movie – so fun and interesting. It’s narrated by Kristen Bell – a familiar voice for kids, who recognize her from “Frozen.”

Fun Fact: Giant pandas eat up to 30 pounds of bamboo every day!

We saw the IMAX film at Fleet Science Center in their Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, which has 76-foot wraparound movie screen and 16,000 watts of digital surround sound. Everything looks and feels so close. That experience makes you feel like you’re sitting across from the pandas in the wild in China.

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My sons and I enjoyed playing with the Panda props at Fleet Science Center too!

Fun Fact: Pandas sleep 10 to 16 hours a day! That bamboo they eat isn’t very nutritious and lacks protein, so they don’t have much energy.

“Pandas,” is rated G and opened April 6, 2018. Get tickets.

Check out the trailer below:

Art + Science = Fun!

Getting kids interested in science can be challenging. Keeping them interested as they grow older can be even tougher. But exhibits like The Art of Science Learning at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center keep kids fascinated about science.

 

The exhibit very practically explains real world problems, like drought and pollution. Kids and adults ponder the possible solutions using STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.

 

 

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The Art of Science Learning is designed as a call to action to find solutions to local and global science challenges. The curators say adding art to the science solutions help bring people together to collaborate and create.

Using foam, pipe cleaners, paper, tape and glue, my kids explored science through crafts.

They also enjoyed the “Epic Water Game,” a computer game where players had to research a science problem. In this case, the problem was deciding where to build a water desalination plant. The game involved learning the pros and cons of the project and balancing the project needs including environmental concerns and the impact on the local residents and businesses.

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We also loved the “Taping Shape” experience! Made of hundreds of rolls of packing tape, the art installation is also an “exploratory space” for kids and adults. That means my kids and I were able to walk, climb and slide through this cool exhibit of passageways.

It was hard to believe the whole pathway is made of clear packing tape! You just take your shoes off and have fun! Lots of fun! I lost track how of many times we went through Taping Shape.

Taping Shape exhibition runs through June 12, 2016, in the Fleet Rotunda and Discovery Galleries at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. It’s included in the price of Fleet admission.

 

Circus + Science = FUN!

Last night my kids and I attended the sneak peek of the new Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s “Circus: Science Under the Big Top,” which opens today and runs through September 7.

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We learned some cool behind-the-scenes info about how the circus works plus we enjoyed circus performances from The Fern Street Circus, including this impressive juggling act and this act: spinning a ball while doing somersaults.

The kids loved all the circus extras too, like face painting, carnival food (cotton candy, popcorn and hot dogs) as well as circus fun mirrors and carnival games.

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The best part? They were learning about science and having fun at the same time!