If taking a hammer to a computer has ever been a wish, the Computer Expo 2000 may just be the place to go Saturday.
One of the expo exhibits will allow attendees to take their frustrations out on computer equipment without having to deal with the clean-up. The opportunity to work out a frustration on someone else's equipment in a computer smash is a new addition to the second annual computer expo.
The expo -- a fund raiser for the non-profit Lakes Area Children's Museum -- is set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the East Brainerd Mall.
"It was one of our largest fund raisers and helps with exhibits and operational costs," Sandy Tull, museum director said of last year's event. The childrens' museum provides an educational place for children to explore the arts, science, technology and culture through a variety of hands-on activities and special programs.
Braden Vermeys, 9, Battle Creek, Iowa, uses his body's own electricity to move light with his hand Tuesday as he tried an exhibit at the Lakes Area Children's Museum in the East Brainerd Mall.
In 1999, Tull said about 1,000 people attended the first computer expo. But organizers also felt the competition from one of the first nice weather days in May. One reason to move the expo to early March was a hope that nice weather would not be a distraction. Now Tull is not so sure that will happen if the current mild weather continues.
The expo will present current computer technology through demonstrations and displays from area businesses. About 15 exhibitors will have booths at the event. Giovanni's Pizza will provide food and beverages with part of those proceeds benefiting the museum. And KLIZ radio will broadcast from the East Brainerd Mall for part of the day. New or used computer items may also be traded or sold in a "swap meet/garage sale" area.
In addition to raising funds, Tull said it is also important for the community to know where the museum is located and what the organization is about.
Tuesday the Vermeys family from Battle Creek, Iowa spent time in the museum after snow activities were out of the question during their vacation stay at Causeway on Gull Resort in Nisswa.
Ann Vermeys said it would be nice if her community had a similar resource. Her children spent time drawing by looking at a mirror reflection and went through exhibits from listening to their hearts with a stethoscope to viewing the constellations.
Adults and children can spend an hour-and-a-half on an average visit. Museum activities target children ages 2 to 12. But Tull said that age can also be stretched to 14-year-olds. Plans include expanding to include a new exhibit of a home learning center this summer that focuses on preschool children. By fall, other exhibits will target older children.
At the museum current exhibits include subjects of magnets and electricity. Children have their own television studio with a puppet show and dress-up options. Other options include a Lego center, a black light room, art center, giant kaleidoscope and giant slide.
In March the museum is adding a human body exhibit with a life-size torso and models of an eye, ear and heart. Day cares and group visits are also part of the museum routine, along with field trips from area schools.
The museum has been in mall since 1995. Hours are from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 12:30-4 p.m. Sunday. Hours will expand in the summer.
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