Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘dinosaurs’

COSI – A Great Place to Spend a Winter’s Day

COSI outside

COSI provides a great place for school field trips at any time of the year.

When the weather outside is frightful, inside COSI is still delightful. It’s easy to spend an entire day there without any problem. There’s no age limit on enjoyment as kids from 1-100 enjoy interacting with the exhibits.

   This all began in 1958 as a dream of Sandy Hallack, an advertising executive, who thought Columbus would be the perfect place for a science museum. It took time and determination to get the cooperation of the community, but his dream was fulfilled in 1964.

COSI Hope Street Market

Visit businesses from 1898, then turn the corner and see these same businesses in 1962. Progress!

   The old Memorial Hall building became its first home for the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and over 5000 people visited on Opening Day. Admission was 50 cents for an adult and 25 cents for children.

   So many museums are places where you can’t touch anything. Hallack wanted a place where you could not only touch things but move them and take them apart. Many say, “It’s the jewel of the community.”

COSI High Wire Unicycle Rider

Adults and children thrill during trips across the High Wire Unicycle.

   In 1999, they moved to a new home built especially for COSI. Since that first opening, over 33,000,000 people have visited both sites. That’s impressive!

   There’s so much variety of scientific displays that it’s impossible to cover all of them fully. These are some of the highlights that impressed me on a recent visit.

COSI Tyranosaurus Rex

Children stop to study Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Dinosaur Gallery.

   Dinosaurs are here! New discoveries and new technology are helping scientists piece together information to see what dinosaurs were really like. In this permanent exhibit, see a reconstructed Tyrannosaurus Rex in actual size.

COSI Stegasauras

Life-size skeletons of dinosaurs, such as Stegosaurus, help make history come alive.

   View a collection of dinosaur prints found on a farm in Texas. An interesting section shows the transition from dinosaur to bird. Be sure to catch a glimpse of Toasty, their gila monster before you leave. This is just a taste of what you will find at COSI’s Dinosaur Gallery.

   On the first floor, you also see the wide variety of traveling exhibits in the American Museum of Natural History. Right now that exhibit explores the “Power of Poison”. Find stories about how poisons have worked throughout history. This exhibit will soon be replaced with another traveling exhibit “Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids”. Let your imagination expand!

COSI Space capsule

Test your skills as an armchair astronaut in a SImulated Space Capsule Ride.

   Their planetarium is the largest in the state of Ohio. Various shows can be seen throughout the day. “Wildest Weather” lets you witness weather found on all the planets from dust storms on Mars or the whirling, high-speed winds on Venus to a trip through the asteroid belt.

   In the Human Body section, you can have your pulse taken, check out your age through technological viewing, and view all the body parts while learning their functions. One special room there was the “Echo Free Room”, where you could enter a very quiet and peaceful place, almost as quiet as my apartment.

COSI Poseidon's Realm

Poseidon’s Realm in the Ocean creates an opportunity to explore water with hands-on experiences.

   Children love to play in water so the Ocean exhibit appeals to almost everyone. Parents and grandparents can be seen joining in the water fun. Touch, hold and feel the water as you study the mysteries of Poseidon’s realm.

COSI Baby Alligator

A COSI guide encourages children to touch, Tick-Tock, an American Alligator baby.

   Another spot that is coming up on January 26 is called “Large in Charge” and will teach people about alligators and crocodiles, who have roamed the planet for over 200 million years. This is one of those preview places where a COSI guide had an American Alligator Baby, called “Tick-Tock”, for children to touch.

COSI Kids Space

A safe haven is provided for small children to place in Kids Space, an enclosed area.

   An interesting place on the second floor was called “Kids Space” and only children under six were allowed in and they were carefully monitored. Here little ones could play in a tree house, visit a barnyard, climb in an ambulance or paint pictures. There was even a place to play with water at Splish Splash. What fun!

COSI WOSU

See yourself perform on WOSU TV or check out their giant kaleidoscope.

   Sometime during the day, you’ll most likely want to stop at the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater – The Ultimate Window to the World. Now showing several times a day are “Oceans” and “Incredible Predators”.

COSI Bathroom door

Educational information continues even on the doors of the restrooms.

   Everywhere there are hands-on things to try as answers to science questions are discovered. COSI employees can be found giving lectures in small auditoriums or demonstrating experiments and animals in the hallways. It’s non-stop entertainment if you love adventure or science.

COSI on wheels

COSI on Wheels has visited over 7.5 million students at their schools.

   Field trips to COSI create learning experiences, but if your school isn’t able to attend perhaps they would like to have a visit from COSI on Wheels. This program takes special features of COSI to schools in the area with the farthest they have ever gone to Memphis, Tennessee. Students from Kindergarten to 6th grade find their dynamic science activities of interest.

COSI Laser Harp

Music lovers always stop to play the Laser Harp before leaving COSI.

   Children have a great time exploring COSI and so do adults. You’ll discover something new each time you stop by. Plan a visit soon for a day filled with fun while learning. Kids of all ages are welcome!

COSI is located in Columbus, Ohio at 333 W. Broad Street. Take I-70 and use exit 99C. Your GPS will be handy for a few turns before arriving at Broad Street. Some may prefer to follow Route 40 (Broad Street) through downtown Columbus. COSI is right along the bank of the Scioto River.

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Land of the Dinosaurs

If these bones could talk, what stories we would hear! Take a trip back in time and explore the  Dinosaur Gardens in Vernal, Utah to see life size replicas of dinosaurs as they used to roam this region; then head to the quarry to see some fossilized dinosaur bones.  These unusual gardens and a wonderful museum are part of the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park. Inside you will find real fossil skeletons, a Fossil Lab plus an interesting film, while outside the beautiful dinosaur replicas along the garden path give you a great size comparison. It is like visiting a prehistoric zoo!

One of my favorites was the Brontosaurus, now also called Apatosaurus due to a scientific battle.  This long necked, plant eater just seemed a peaceful animal in spite of its size. Often 70 foot long, “Thunder Lizard” weighed up to 30 tons. Being the symbol of Sinclair Oil, it is one of the most familiar dinosaur images.

Triceratops was the most famous horned dinosaur as its fossils are found in greater numbers than any of the others.  Even though they looked quite fierce and were very successful in battle, Triceratops were plant eaters. Their strong jaws made it possible to grind up vegetation, probably including small flowering shrubs. Triceratops was about twice the size of a rhinoceros, with four short legs and three horns on its face.  People often find it difficult to fathom that this creature lived approximately 65 million years ago.

As we head North from Vernal, we pass movable sprinkler irrigation systems as we glimpse our first view of Dinosaur National Monument in the distance. Early settlers developed an irrigation system, which is assisted by Flaming Gorge Dam today, to provide water to the developed farming area. Before irrigation and the building of dams, this area was a barren cactus flat and not considered a desirable place for settlement.

Upon arrival at Dinosaur National Monument, you find a large quarry of dinosaur remains in an exposed sandstone wall. The actual Quarry Visitor Center is in Utah, while most of the Dinosaur National Monument extends into bordering Colorado.

Discovered in 1909 while searching for fossils for Carnegie Museum, this area is thought to be the best in the world for obtaining information concerning late-Jurassic-period dinosaurs. It would appear the dinosaur carcasses were washed down the Green and Yampa Rivers, then caught on the sandbars, which eventually turned to rock. After all these years, there still seems to be no end to what can be found buried in this rock face.

At the present time, The Quarry Visitor Center is being rebuilt due to structural problems with the original building, and expected to reopen in the Fall of 2011. In the meantime, you can walk the Fossil Discovery Hiking Trail to see dinosaur fossils in the cliff face – as long as the temperature is below 95.  The trail is actually closed for safety from heat related problems when it exceeds that temperature.

When there several years ago, it was amazing to see the vast amount of fossils naturally exposed in such a small area. Enjoyed watching the paleontologists at work on the sandstone surface, carefully chiseling away the sandstone from the fossilized bones.

Stop back after October, 2011 to see the new Quarry Visitor Center. An interesting place to visit, but would be more exciting to be part of the dig, and chisel bones from the wall…very carefully.  Maybe you could discover something yet unknown!

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