When you think of NASA scientists, you might envision a sea of Coke-bottle glasses, pocket protectors, and Carl Sagan look-alikes toiling away in an underground lab. But they're actually pretty hip. Take the Mars Rover mission, for example. Last week, engineers watched from mission control as the rover (nicknamed "Spirit") began the four-part exercise that transforms it from a folded-up, tightly packed bundle of wheels and latches into a fully functioning vehicle ready to explore the Red Planet. To make this complicated endeavor a bit mellower and put everyone at ease, Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" was blasted as the scientists cheered Spirit on. Yes, take a few minutes and let that sink in, man. See, they have a sense of humor, even if they don't know it. With all this Mars-related fervor in the air, kids can rove on over to Markham Park (16001 State Rd. 84, Sunrise) for a free weekly Q&A session called Cosmic Questions. Beginning at dusk, kids can search the skies for stars and constellations with telescopes set up by the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association. The starry-eyed folks from the SFAAA can also answer any questions you have. Some Pink Floyd would be a nice soundtrack for the evening, don't you think? Call 954-583-4699. -- Audra Schroeder
Just Bead It!
Make necklaces, African-style
In the Rift Valley of East Africa, you can tell a lot about people by the necklaces they wear. Age, marital status, position in society -- it's all advertised through jewelry. How exactly? Ask Esta, a young woman from East Africa's Maasai community, at the Young at Art Children's Museum (11584 State Rd. 84, Davie) as part of its "Children Like Me" series. Esta helps out with a hands-on workshop called "Beauty and the Bead," in which kids age 6 and older can string necklaces. The Maasai are known throughout the world for their beautiful beadwork, and beading is known throughout the world as an art that reflects peacefulness and patience. Beauty and the Bead takes place at 1:30 p.m. and is free with regular museum admission. Call 954-424-0085. -- Deidra Funcheon