Weekend trip to Antarctica

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, so we decided to spend some time in Antarctica!  No, we didn’t hop on a plane and/or a ship or anything. 🙂  We took the easy route and headed over to La Turbine Sciences museum in Cran-Gevrier, a 20-minute walk from our apartment, to see an exhibit called “Antarctique, une Explosion de Vie” (Antarctic, an Explosion of Life).  


It was a small museum but had a nice assortment of information, pictures, items, and interactive displays all about past and present expeditions to Antarctica.  It was set up as though you were on a research ship, which was fun for the kids.  

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In addition, we arrived in time to partake in a presentation geared for kids about climate change observed in Antarctica — “Glaçon, pourquoi tu fonds?” (Ice cube, why are you melting?)  G and L ended up with first-row seats, right next to the experiment counter, along with a handful of other kids.  The young woman giving the presentation was great.  She had a very calm demeanor and kept the kids engaged with conversational dialogue and questions.  

G was called on to volunteer for one of the experiments and L was asked to recite the numbers that appeared on a scale in front of him.  Mind you, the entire thing was done in French, and G and L responded and participated as though they were natural French speakers. Mike and I stood in the back to avoid being called on to answer any questions. 🙂 Afterward, the kids told the presenter that they were from the U.S., and she was very excited to hear that and pulled up the map she had on her computer to find Minnesota. 🙂  L also told her how he’d studied Antarctica at school last year. 🙂


The three following pictures are G helping the presenter decide and then test various objects to see if they will float.

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Here is the presenter pointing to the numbers on the scale that she asked L read to her.


The other exposition going on that we didn’t realize was there was called “Passez à Table” (Go to the Table).  The exhibit was focused on food production to consumption.  There were lots of interesting, interactive activities to do.  Our favorite one was where we took a food tray and then went around to carts labeled main meal, dessert, beverage, etc.  At each cart there were 9 to 12 bins with cards that contained pictures of a food (or beverage) from that category.  Each card also had a bar code on it.  Once we collected a card from each of the carts, we took them to the checkout to scan them.  After scanning each card, we got a printout summarizing our meal and comparing it to a well-balanced meal.

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While G, L, and I were looking at the items in the refrigerator, we watched as a little girl, who was probably only 3 or so, came up to the chef mannequin and said, “Salut!” and then repeated it several more times as he wouldn’t answer her.  Then she went and got her dad, most likely to tell him that the man wouldn’t say hello! 🙂



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