Having fun with the Lander!

From: wecooks@ix.netcom.com
Subject: Having fun with the Lander!
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 21:12:49 -0700 (PDT)

Today we went to the Denver Museum of Natural History.  My daughter, Danielle,  picked up a copy of the paper from the American Museum of Natural History about the Pathfinder and read it on the way home.  In it there was the description of a model lander 
using an egg to simulate the Rover and balloons to simulate the airbags.  When we got home, she disappeared into the basement and when I found her, she was cutting triangles out of cardboard.  I aske her what she was up to and she showed me the article.  
So I found her a bag of water balloons and blew them up for her and punched the holes in the cardboard for her to stick the ends thru.  A while later, she proudly showed us her "lander."  I helped her tape the egg in (the first one cracked en route TO the
 lander!) and then sent her up to the second floor deck to test it out.  While I videotaped from the yard, she threw the "CO Lander" off the deck in 35 mi/hr winds onto the concrete patio below.  It bounced several times and blew across the patio into a f
ence.  She raced down and opened it up.  Successful landing!  Not even a crack!

Simple things like this can encourage kids to be excited about science.  Watching the scientists get info back from Mars is inspiring, too.  When kids see the scientists cheer and jump up and down when they see something new, they realize science is fun! 
 Try and keep it fun for all of you, too!