During our theme unit on Space, Kindergartners listened to a story that described the Moon as large, round, and full of craters. I happened to mention that there was an actual piece of Moon rock right here in Ann Arbor so we spontaneously decided to go see it. We hopped on our school bus (just one of the many advantages of having three buses, a chauffeur's license and a small class) and rode over to North Campus. While on our way, we discussed how there is a piece of artwork created by a Chinese American woman architect named Maya Lin. She is also known for designing The Vietnam Wall. The U of M sculpture was designed to celebrate fallen aviator Francois-Xavier Bagnoud and was intended to simulate the movement of "air waves." We were surprised by both the medium of art used in the sculpture and the actual moon rock on display inside of the adjoining building. We found out that the massive sculptural tribute was actually a piece of environmental art called "The Wave Field" and that the moon rock was only about the size of a skipping stone.
Kindergartners ever so quietly tiptoed into the building filled with a sea of Engineering students and staff. We observed U of Ms impressive collection of flight replicas, engine parts and an actual airplane in the lobby.
We found out that due to this lack of gravity, the United States' flag "waves" only with the help of wires and is actually lying down on the moon's surface because of the force of the liftoff when the space craft returned back to earth.
The actual piece of moon rock is a bit flat, grey, porous looking and more resembles a piece of ordinary cement.
Other space memorabilia included models of various shuttles, patches, and lots of pictures. Our favorite item observed, however, was a set of multicolored golf balls!
We had to run the Wave Fields' crevices and mounds several times just to get the full affect of its size, heights and depths. It appeared to resemble a romp on the Moon I would imagine.