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May Weekend

What’s on your schedule this weekend, scientists, parents, and scientist-parents? If you are in the Boston area, a great Saturday event is FREE FERRY DAY (, where you can take the ferry for free (thanks, captain obvious!) and also enjoy a whole variety of kid-friendly activities (and adult-friendly too!). Did you know that there have been boats in the Boston Harbor carrying passengers since 1630? Yup it’s true! Means we are not that far away from a 400 year anniversary celebration of those first boats!

Boats that are there now are a little newer, mostly, and carry passengers on cruise ships and on commuter boats, between Hull and Hingham into Boston Harbor. Great commuting option, especially considering that Boston ranked as the 7th worst city for traffic congestion in a recent survey.

If boats and harbors are not your thing, but you still want to do something fun, you can check out the Kid’s Obstacle Challenge, running Saturday May 19th in Lancaster, MA. The obstacle challenge is a 1.5-2 mile challenge race, including lots of mud and swinging ropes and assorted obstacles. Check out the website at: Mud! For kids! Nothing can possibly go wrong.

Finally, an inside option that is always good for science-minded children is the Boston Museum of Science ( Right now they have an exhibit on defeating disease, which includes an example of an iron lung that was used to help patients with polio. Did you know that the first version of the iron lung was invented in 1927 by Philip Drinker and Louis Agassiz Shaw? The iron lung works by negative pressure ventilation (see the Wikipedia on this for more information: Some polio patients would have to stay in the iron lung for the rest of their lives. Luckily modern respirators are much more effective, using positive pressure ventilation, and also luckily polio has been almost entirely eradicated thanks to vaccination science! For younger children, they can check out the temporary Dora the Explorer exhibit, and find all kinds of interesting places there.

Happy weekend, scientists! Enjoy!

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