tablecoth-headerComing to the Windy City this spring or summer? Prepare to be “blown away” by the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest exhibit.  Take one part experiment, two parts entertainment, throw in a dash of danger and a handful of something gross, and what do you get? The formula for a hit tv show and what’s sure to be a hit museum exhibition.

Have any budding scientists in your family? My teen and tween boys loved exploring the weird science on display at Mythbusters: the Explosive Exhibition. This is the way science should be taught. We all wish we’d had a science teacher as entertaining as these tv hosts and their museum counterparts who guide visitors through live action experiments. With real props from the blockbuster cable show on hand, the exhibition shows how they make science fun by recreating some of their wacky experiments.

rain-chamberExperimenting with Fun
Do you get wetter when you run through the rain or walk? Find out for yourself by crossing a rain chamber at different speeds. Can you pull a tablecloth out from under dishes? As they say on the hit Discovery Channel show, “Don’t try this at home.” Instead, come to the museum to take a turn trashing the dinner table, all in the name science.

What a Gas
How about the science of flatulance? Don’t take offense as a video shows your kids how to light their farts on fire. Naturally, they also outline exactly what chemicals make them so fabulously flammable and aromatic.


paintball-shootoutLive Action Shoot Out
Your kids ever dream of being part of the Mythbusters show? Donned with goggles, protective lab coats and plastic shields, kids take center stage during a live paint ball experiment. While paint balls are flying, museum assistants explain the science behind the mayhem, making terms like hypothesis and the concept of controlling for variables come to life in an easily understandable way.

Mythbusters is on display at the Museum of Science and Industry until September 3. Tickets for the exhibition cost an additional $10, $8 for kids ages 3-11. General admission to the museum is $15, $10 for kids ages 3-11.

Disclosure: The Museum of Science Industry provided my family with free tickets to the exhibition, but the opinions expressed are all my own.

Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist focusing on family travel. She spent many years as a writer and producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her travel stories have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent and on-line travel sites.