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Last chance to see robotic junk sculptures at Port Discovery Children's Museum

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Baltimore families with young children are no doubt familiar with Port Discovery Children's Museum: the mummy's tomb, the twisted apartment, the three-story-tall Habitrail, the holiday-themed kinetic sculptures. Yes, you read correctly. For one more weekend until January 26th you can see the fabulous moving sculptures of Steve Gerberich. Mom and Dad, this is for you.

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It is wonderful when a child-themed attraction has something that catches the adult fancy. To see a working railroad locomotive is great, but then it gets even better when you discover that none of the parts are locomotive-related. Here are a 60-gallon drum, a vacuum cleaner hose, the exhaust system from an old Buick, a wood stove pipe, a tractor engine, and some serving platters. Entering the mind of Steve Gerberich, you might wonder if the stuff in your attic might be the makings of a rocket ship or perhaps a submarine.

Other marvelous sculptures include Santa and his Dr. Seuss-inspired sleigh, an automated pie-making machine (I use the term "making" loosely), and an Oscar the Grouch (by this I mean junk-decorated) Christmas tree. You know Santa's sleigh, but you don't know this one. Electric headlamps, cb radio, multiple gearshift levers and controls are all welded and duct-taped together into functional magnificence. The reindeer themselves are two-dimensional, but life-sized, and stretch all the way across the fifty-foot floor. They each sit on bicycle-based mechanisms that give them leaping ability and presumably lower rolling resistance.

The pie-making piece uses a sewing machine motor to make it move. What it is moving to do is not immediately clear, but eggs and flour are involved and you can draw your own conclusions. The startling thing about this exhibit is the presence of an eight-inch replica of the robot from the TV series Lost in Space. I didn't know such a thing existed, but some questions arise. What is he doing there? What does he have to do with pie? Where did Gerberich even find him? Most importantly, where can I find one?

My children and I had a nice time at Port Discovery last week. Thanks to Steve Gerberich, you moms and dads can too. Now if you will excuse me, I have a spaceship to build.

Port Discovery Children's Museum

35 Market Place, Baltimore, MD

Tues- Fri 9:30 - 4:30

Sat 10:00 - 5:00

Sun 12:00 - 5:00

Admission for age 2 and up $13.50

Under 2-years-old FREE


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