Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interacting with Leonardo da Vinci's Machines at the Museum!

After lunch, we went to the museum located at the edge of the park.  I was especially interested to take the dc to the Leonardo da Vinci display which had just opened a few weeks earlier and would only be available for a few months. 

We entered the Leonardo da Vinci room and the first thing to read about was his life.  My dc said, "Oh, we already read about all that last winter."  YES!  We checked out all the machines.  Recreated, before our eyes, were the very machines he imagined and sketched on paper, most of which were never actually made until decades, even centuries later.  Some we could only look at and wait for an "apprentice" or museum helper to demonstrate.  Most, however, we were able to work ourselves.  The dc kept saying in awe, over and over, "We read about these last winter!" Since da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance man, I had the dc wrote research papers about him.  We also used an excellent book to learn about his life and work, Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas.

Here's his war machine.  Army tanks today are constructed very much like this one.



DS climbing to the top from within...



Here's a type of cannon...



Cranking up the flywheel. 



Hmmmm, what's this? DS does remember that this has been adapted for today's army tanks, having control of the direction of fire...



DS is turning a crank to lift the column, just like in da Vinci's day...



Going up...



Ball bearings...we saw a lot of devices using these.  When we got home ds went straight to the geomag he had left on the table and said, "Hey, this uses ball bearings!"  YES!



Hmmmm, cranking up something.  I forget.  But ds remembers that today we use this type of thing to roll out sheets of metal.  Actually it reminds me of pizza dough machines and pasta dough rollers. Oh, and ds is now thinking of the old fashioned washing machines.  I remember helping my grandma use that machine.  I used to think wash day with her was sooooo much fun!



DS tells me that this is a pedometer...



This is how the printing press works...



Bet you can guess this one!



Then we went into the workshop. DS is analyzing flight with different sets of paper wings.



These men were intent on making these sticks become...



...this bridge that could be built with only sticks and no nails.



They suceeded! It's not as easy as it looks.   



DS decided to try it...



Grandma and dd had a race to get their submarine to the top first...



How is ds doing?



Ta da!  Oops! It fell apart quickly.  It wasn't quite stable enough.  You tweak one little area and it falls apart.  DS wanted to keep working but there had been a few men watching...and waiting...ever so patiently.  You could tell they could hardly stand it, not interrupting him.  I told ds to take turns and let the men try.  I really had a great time watching all the men act like kids in this place!  =)



We built an arch.  I had a blast doing that!  We studied these in in our Ancient Rome unit.  The Etruscans invented this extremely important and sturdy design centuries before da Vinci was born.  Completing it proves how wobbly it is in construction, yet how sturdy it is in the end.  I wonder what da Vinci had to do with it?  Better hit the books!



Looking at DD skectch a picture of me with a special gadget...



Here is Grandma sketching a picture of dd.



We all aimed the catapult at the castle...



DS tried to find another opportunity to build the bridge again.  But the man who built the bridge right before ds was back with his kids (teens/college age) and they tried it.  We watched, trying to get tips.  Just when it looked like they had it...oops!   It fell apart.  We finally had to go. This was my absolutely favorite museum visit ever!

2 comments:

  1. advancedmaternalageJuly 16, 2008 at 4:12 PM

    What a great daVinci exhibit!

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  2. What an awesome Da Vinci display!! Sounds like you will put that museum membership to good use!


    Blessings,

    Pam

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