Wednesday, April 04, 2007


On Tuesday Papa John went with the twins on a "Schools on Trains" trip as the core of our churches fine home school group went to Seattle on Amtrak.
This fine field trip program allows student groups to travel inexpensively to other cities along the train line for educational enrichment opportunities.
About thirty kids and chaperones went to the Big City and enjoyed the four and a half hour turn around by selectively seeing the sights in small groups. Our team of seven hustled across town on busses in the free-fare zone and quickly arrived at the Pacific Science Center at the foot of the Space Needle. With a few minutes to spare the kids quickly scattered throughout the exhibits and hands-on demo units until it was time for the IMAX movie we had come to see.
"The Alps" featured those magnificent mountians which bisect central Europe from northern Italy, across Switzerland, and into Austria. IMAX is a stunning film format in which the movie is projected on huge screen inside a spherical theater. It's like sitting in steep tiers of seats inside one side of an eggshell while the pictures are shown on the inside of the shell opposite you. The screen is 120 wide and six stories tall, so the scale is enormous and the effect is like you are nearly in the film yourself. Consider too that the format uses the largest film ever perfected for motion pictures and the clarity of the image is so convincing that the viewer becomes part of the setting and a virtual participant in the action.
The North Face of the Eiger, a vertical wall of rock and ice a mile high, was the setting of a memorial climb as John Harlin III made the nearly impossible climb that claimed his father's life in 1966. Incredibily, the Imax team was able to accompany him, and in the following days capture the amazing story on their stunning film. Check out a bit of the story at or by googling "Imax, The Alps".
Meanwhile, back on the train... These kids and their folks are an awesome group. Strangers commented on their happy, positive attitudes and the fact that they were calm, composed, polite, and required little correction on the entire three and a half hour trip. It's true. These are super kids and a joy to be with. They are friends; they are eager learners; they adapt well to adventure. That makes the trips fun.
Special thanks this time to our "wagon-mistress", Judy. Good job, girl! Let's do it again! So, Pike Market, here we come.
(PS When you visit the Science Center don't miss the butterfly room; it's a real treat!)


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