How To Raise A Science Nerd | Charlotte’s Discovery Place Opens New #101Inventions Feb. 2nd

2014 January 31

In my former life I was a scientist.

Discovery Place Charlotte carissa rogers goodncrazy 101inventions new exhibitI know. Crazy? (I had a life before kids?)
Wanna know something Crazier?

I was a molecular biologist, playing with DNA and gene therapy and curing cancer!
Okay… I STUDIED cancer. But I dreamed big!

When I was in 8th grade they took a bus full of Jr. High kids to a large university. We explored several science based classrooms where we were allowed to ask questions about each type of science with a little hands on time.

I was fascinated with a woman who talked about teeny tiny molecules; how DNA translated into RNA which then made Protein which runs the little factories inside our body’s cells. SMALLER than our cells? How do you work with something that small? I asked a lot of questions. I went home and checked out books on DNA. I drew diagrams. I dreamed.

It was the first time I thought to myself: I could be a scientist. That woman in the classroom was a scientist? I will cure the common cold!!

That dream stayed with me and in my senior year of high school I won a small but important science scholarship to that same University. And the rest is history…er… science!

I didn’t have science museums to push my creative nerd brain. There was almost no hands on science learning in any of my classrooms. (Okay, I dissected that frog in 9th grade… EW!)

But now, feeding my son’s science cravings is all too easy.

My son is a self-professed nerd. He’s proud of it. He only read non-fiction ‘project’ books as he called them from the moment he could read on his own. When he realized I used to be a real life scientist he was thrilled. He’s happiest when he is exploring new Youtube Nerd videos—everything from how to do card tricks, paper airplane folding, balloon twisting, and cobra stick bombs.

We’ve exploded Diet Coke with Mentos, played with cornstarch goo and for Christmas his stocking is filled with new items he can build, explore and destroy! His latest obsession is building long lines of dominoes or stacking them into elaborate ‘houses’.

Discovery Place Charlotte carissa rogers goodncrazy 101inventions new exhibit 2One of his favorite places in the whole world is Charlotte’s own Discovery Place Museum. They just completed a run of an exhibit called ‘Grossology’… yup… all things gross and disgusting about humans and animals too. I think the word poop was mentioned about a 100 times. –Perfect for a 9 year old boy.

We were super excited when we found out the next exhibit (opening this weekend!) is called 101 Inventions That Changed The World. He and I were invited to preview the exhibit during the Media Press Day.



Check out this super quick video of images inside the new 101 Inventions exhibit all taken with my HTCOnemax using the highlight video feature:


According to my Nerd Boy:

Discovery Place Charlotte carissa rogers goodncrazy 101inventions new exhibit 1

  • Best Part of the New Exhibit: The Video Screen Room where they count down the 101 Inventions! Totally cool. Can you guess the the top 10 inventions are? We were surprised, HINT: half of the top ten are communication based!
  • Favorite Interactive: He had a really hard time deciding… there are 5 or 6 tables set up near the end of the exhibit where kids can experiment and explore with the items. He says he has to go with the Remote Control table where he worked hard to create a car that he could turn and steer the front wheels. (But I was completely mesmerized by the 3D printer spitting out little robot parts!)
  • What He was Expecting: More interaction throughout the exhibit.
    You first walk through a quiet alley with giant posters featuring prominent inventors. Then a short space where the 101 inventions are listed… Shhh I can’t tell you what the number 1 invention is yet! Then the giant video screen room is truly amazing. And then you move into the interactive room.
  • What He would Change: There was a lot of reading… maybe if there were more ‘things’ to see like a REAL light bulb when you are reading about the incandescent light bulb for example?

Discovery Place Charlotte carissa rogers goodncrazy 101inventions thomas edison talking to my kid

Thomas Edison joined us while we were there! Easily one of my son’s most admired inventors, “Mr. Edison” talked to us for 15 minutes. About his inventions and about how those inventions now affect the world. We were fascinated with a story he told us about how Nicola Tesla (invented AC Electric Current) and Edison did not get along and became rivals. But how that rivalry very likely pushed electronics ahead 40 years!  I’d love to read a biography of Tesla and his side of the inventors conflicts? And we just found out Nicola Tesla will be at the exhibit when it opens too! {How fun.. maybe there will be a fight??}

What Ages For New Discovery Place Exhibit?

I thought with the reading intense exhibits and the advanced interactives at the end that this exhibit is best suited for children who read well. Probably at least 3rd grade and older. BUT. LEGOs are on the top 101 list and there are several tables of LEGOs to play with at the end. So if you have LEGO happy younger kids everyone will be happy!

101 Inventions opens Sunday February 2nd, 2014.
There is an extra cost to enter this exhibit but it’s discounted for Museum Members.

Please read more about the Invention exhibit: 101 Inventions you need tickets and a specific time to enter the exhibit.

And we’re super excited to see the newest IMAX movie: Hubble $5 for members

Discovery Place Charlotte carissa rogers goodncrazy hubble in IMAX

Disclosure: My son and I were invited to a press preview of the new exhibit at no cost to us. My family are proud members of the museum and we love the IMAX theater shows as well as all the hands on science displays. Trust me, go enjoy Discovery Place! I was not compensated for this post.

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5 Responses
  1. January 31, 2014

    Sounds cool!!! We’re going to take the girls on Sunday, hoping Lil C has fun with it. PS I did not know you were a scientist, how cool!!
    Twitter: mommybknowsbest

    • January 31, 2014

      It was so long ago now I can’t even talk the talk! 🙂
      But it’s super fun to be the mom of a scientist in training…
      The exhibit was super fun, but I think especially because my kid knew a little bit about most of the inventions already if that makes sense?
      Talking to Edison was a total treat btw!

      If you look on Instagram for #101inventions you’ll see the actor who will be Tesla… and I commented back and forth several times with him yesterday.. hoping to see Tesla and Edison together!!

  2. January 31, 2014

    That sounds so neat! I almost can’t wait until my older so we can enjoy the science centers. They love Discovery Place Kids though :).
    Twitter: wcornelison

  3. January 31, 2014

    I was so bummed we weren’t able to head down for the media day. This full-time job gig really gets in the way sometimes. My kids love Discovery Place. The oldest actually asked about it last night. She’s ready to go and doesn’t even know about the cool, new exhibit. They are going to be stoked about Legos being on the list of 101 inventions!
    Twitter: mamamommymom

  4. May 6, 2014

    Business and financial managements skills are becoming more critical every day. Give your kid an early start with

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