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The plasmasphere knows all!
The plasmasphere knows all!

It's Electric!

THU 7/3

Normally, electricity and children are a bad combination, but no one's going to get electrocuted at the Museum of Discovery and Science's (401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale) "Electric Space: Bolts, Jolts, and Volts From the Sun." Like all the exhibits at the museum, this one is interactive. Kids can mimic the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, by pressing a button on a gas-filled bulb, which agitates the gas and produces the light show. On the northern tip of the Earth, it occurs when solar wind interacts with the planet's magnetic field. The most spectacular and certainly the most popular activity is the plasmasphere, a glass sphere filled with plasma gas. When kids touch it, their hands conduct electricity and bolts of lightning shoot inside the sphere. All in all, the exhibit is probably a lot more fun than a lunar eclipse or a laser light show, where all you get to do is watch. Funding comes from Florida Power & Light. Maybe that's why electric bills are getting so high. If FPL harnessed energy from the sun instead of using its resources to electrify space, we'd all save a couple of bucks (and, of course, use it to crank up the AC). Space is a pretty big place to light. Call 954-467-6637. -- Karen Dale Wolman

SAT 7/5

Out of Africa

Shedding light on the Dark Continent

Push, pull, or drag your kids to the museum at 1 p.m. Saturday. The museum, you say? What are the chances of getting kids into a museum unless it's a school field trip? Well, when the place in question is the Young at Art Children's Museum (11584 State Rd. 84, Davie), you stand a much better chance than usual. And this afternoon, resident artist Chisseko, a native of Kenya, brings patrons a little slice of the old country. And we don't mean Ireland, Poland, or Fiji. Children can gather in a traditional African hut to participate in hands-on activities, a drum circle, and contests. They may even learn a bit of Swahili. Here's a primer -- jambo means "hi." The whole experience is part of the museum's "Global Village" exhibit, which teaches children about various cultures and societies from places around the globe. Admission is $4. Call 954-424-0085. -- Dan Sweeney

MON 7/7

MoCA Gets Campy

Get inside and get creative

If you're not into getting poison ivy or putting on some lame play with a bunch of kids you hate, the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) offers a more creative alternative for summer. Its Creative Arts Summer Camp provides kids ages 6 to 13 the opportunity to learn about art history and culture as well as to participate in hands-on activities. The camp runs until August 15, and the first session is on the topic of storybook art. Kids learn about the history of children's books and then create their own stories and illustrate the books with a variety of media. Classes start at 9:30 a.m. Call 305-893-6211. -- Audra Schroeser

TUE 7/8

Power to the Flower

Children ages 3 to 6 take part in hands-on activities at the Daggerwing Nature Center (South County Regional Park, 11200 Park Access Rd., Boca Raton) from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. to learn about all things botanical. After viewing native Florida wildflowers in the center's butterfly garden, arts and crafts are led by naturalist Adrienne Broyles. Reservations are required, and admission is $4. Call 561-488-9953. -- Dan Sweeney


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