Every so often, Namine’s school, Rural Virtual Academy, puts together a field trip for students. This particular field trip was to the Milwaukee Public Museum.
We arrived a little early (will wonders never cease), so while we waited for the rest of the RVA group to arrive, Namine entertained herself by the wooly mammoth display they have in the lobby.
Once we got the group together, several of us went to the European Villages exhibit. We never actually made it all the way through to the Streets of Old Milwaukee — we’d get there eventually, but not yet — before it was time for the movie.
It was Namine’s first time in the museum’s Imax theater and planetarium (or if not, she’d been too young to remember). I was a little concerned that she was going to get motion sick from watching it, especially since the wheelchair accessible was on the second floor, bringing us closer to the screen. As it turns out, I needn’t have been Namine was enthralled with the show, entitled Wisconsin Stargazing, which was all about stars in the night sky and constellations.
After the show was over (and we got some lunch), the RVA families went their separate ways. We, joined by Namine’s teacher, went up to the Native American exhibit. Namine has been learning all about the Spaniards’ activities in Northern America in the 1700s, so this provided some context and life-size visual examples for her history lessons.
Our next stop was through Ancient Egypt, to see the mummies. A while back, Namine went through a phase (which I suspect is still not over) where she just fell in love with mummies, but not just them — she couldn’t get enough of the pyramids, pharaohs, chariots, all of it. She got a big picture and puzzle book about Ancient Egypt for Christmas last year, and it’s still one of her favorites to go back to.
So Namine finally got to see real mummies, up close and personal. A couple of them were uncovered, displaying their eroded faces in all their desiccated glory. Or was it gory? Anyway, she declared that she didn’t need to see any more mummies, she was done with that for the day. Not for good, though — she was quite clear that she definitely wanted to see the mummies again, just not today.
My favorite part of the museum, ever since my own childhood, has always been the dinosaur exhibits. Before we could get to that, however, we had to go through the rainforest. Just past the rainforest, before the prehistoric animals, there was a little theater showing a four-minute movie on cells. This is another thing that Namine has been learning about in school, so we sat and watched it. Namine actually sat and watched it twice, and was ready for a third viewing, when we decided that it was time to move on. (No complaints here, though. I’m glad she finds it so fascinating!)
Before we left, we visited the arthropod exhibit, where they had a giant stag beetle Namine could sit on. We looked at all the glass boxes containing creepy crawlies — centipedes, millipedes, spiders, beetles, and more — being quite careful not to touch.
Before entering the butterfly exhibit, we told Namine to be very careful, butterflies are everywhere inside, even on the floor. We needn’t have worried. She was quite attentive and refused to move unless she was sure there were no butterflies anywhere around her chair.
There were just a couple other people in the exhibit with us, and they were both more successful at getting butterflies to land on them than we were. They were more than happy to help Namine make some new friends of her own.