Why the Tree of Life?


Star Wars

And now, the trip we have all been waiting for... Star Wars in Houston! Months!--- we (and when I say we here, I mean Dunagan) have been waiting months.

The Health Museum in Houston hosted an amazing exhibit, and it has been there all summer, but I waited until September for us to go. I have figured out the secret--- go to museums in September. School groups aren't yet moving through like cattle going to market. We have the place to ourselves.

Anyway, they had lots of actual artifacts, props, models and costumes from all six episodes. They also had lots of interactive spots illustrating "star wars" technology that we have today.

(Some of my pictures are a little blurry. My excuse is that is was *very* cold in there. You know... shaky camera...)

Anyway, we saw comparisons between Hoth and Antartica, and Tatooine and Tunisia. We saw how hard it is to get robots to walk on two legs in real life, and we saw some examples of current technologies in robot facial and emotional recognition.

The kids also got to experiment with maglev technology that is used in high speed trains in comparison to the landspeeder in the movie.

It was about this time that Ayla really lost it (cold, hungry, bored), and she and I abandoned ship to sit outside and start in on lunch--- and slowly thaw. All that is to say, *I* did not get to see their final cars run down the track, but I hear it was cool.

After lunch, we went into a second exhibit that was a Star Wars robot lab. I have to say, I was very impressed. One drawback to going to an exhibit that is on its way out is that most of the interactive stuff is broken and inoperable. But everything here still worked!

So, you take your little R2 unit, and you decide which style of wheels you want, and then you take it over to two more stations and program it to run through a simple little course.

True to their natures, Dunagan dove right in and figured it out as he went along. Kirven sat back and watched until he was sure he could do it perfectly, and then he knocked it out as everyone else was ready to go and move on.

Though I didn't get pictures, we got to ride in a simulation of the Millenium Falcon.

The boys loved it; wanted to do it again. Ayla was: "A little bored, a little scared."

But she did become rather attached to her R2 unit and had a hard time understanding that it was not a take-home project or our new pet.

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