Last weekend we took a trip to Chalco Hills and learned all about water thanks to the annual World O’ Water program here in Omaha.
This is the first time we’ve attended this event and it was a lot of fun. Charlie was finishing her Wonders of Water Girl Scout journey, so the timing was perfect.
My biggest concern was parking. I’d been out there before, so I was familiar with the parking situation. There’s quite a bit for normal lake and park use, but for a big event, I wasn’t so sure. Luckily they had several people directing parking and they were setting us up on the grass, so there was more than enough parking for everyone.
The girls were most excited about getting a canoe ride and doing the rock climbing wall. I was most excited about all of the science demonstrations about water.
The walkway leading up to the Natural Resources Center was lined with several booths from a variety of local vendors providing demonstrations and information.
After the girls listened to some great presentations about water, they received some reusable water bottles. Charlie was thrilled with this because she found out earlier how much water is used to make a plastic water bottle.
Inside the building were even more booths. We picked up some tote bags and daffodil bulbs. Lena thought the plasma globe was pretty fantastic. Knowing that Nikola Tesla created the very first one, which he called the Inert Gas Discharge Tube. Plasma globes we know today aren’t exactly what Tesla created, they’ve been since modernized by James Falk. Any you see today are the modernized version.
I was impressed just about as much as Lena was by the tornado demonstration. It showed how tornados form. Lena asked some fantastic questions which led to even more exploration of the contraption. My favorite part was showing how tornados only form in low pressure. The person leading the demonstration showed this by placing her hand over the hole, which she said acted like higher pressure, thus eliminating the cyclone.
If you look at the center of this machine, you can just see the cloud tube of the miniature tornado. It was much easier to see in person.
Out back they had free lunch, while supplies lasted and even more booths. I spent some time chatting with the representative from the zoo. The kids focused on anyone who had live animals. We met a couple of hens, a goat, and a rabbit.
Rock Climbing Wall
Eventually, the kids couldn’t take the wait anymore and insisted on getting in line for the rock climbing wall. We obliged and eventually, they were harnessed up working their hardest to get to the top.
Finally, they were ready for canoeing. But first, I wanted a snack. There were still hot dogs, chips, and treats, so we grabbed some and listened to some of the live entertainment and talked about what we had learned so far.
Next, it was off to the shuttle to the canoeing area. The wait wasn’t long. They had 3 shuttles going over the short distance, so it made for a quick trip.
Before they could get in the canoes they had to learn about life jackets and water safety. It was an informative presentation where we learned about all kinds of old style life jackets and other flotation devices and why they aren’t safe. Then we learned about the modern life jackets and how to put them on.
We spent four hours at the World O’ Water event and stayed entertained the entire time. There was a lot to see and do, so we didn’t have a lot of downtime.
Once we got home Charlie decided to work on her Wonders of Water Girl Scout sharing project by using sidewalk chalk to share her water message with as many people as possible. She plans to visit different parks and share a message at each of them as well to make sure everyone knows how awesome water is.
What educational events has your family been to lately?