Friday, October 12, 2007

the Science Centre

So yesterday turned out much better than expected school-wise. We were done at noon, so that is a major bonus. We still haven't done our science test, so no science this week, but not that concerned. They did spend the day at the Space and Science centre. I think next time we go there I will take them to a show in the planetarium, I LOVE the planetarium! And there are a bunch of new Imax movies out that we could see, but only the 13 year old likes to go to those.

The science centre is a pretty cool place. On the main floor there are 3 permanent galleries. The Police services gallery has a mystery for the kids to solve, you get to walk through the crime scene and collect clues; watch news clips about the 'crime'; listen to witness statements; and then take all your evidence to the lab where you learn all about forensics. I love that part. You compare fingerprints, DNA strands, fibres, learn tons of stuff about forensics through hands-on activities. Then you decide who you think did it, enter all your evidence in a computer program and it tells you if your case against the defendant was successful. It is so cool, I love the little news clips you get to see-all recorded by local newscasters.
Next is the human body gallery. It is set up like an old-time carnival fun house. Very bright and noisy and has hands on activities to learn all about your body and senses. The boys love the gallery of gross, containing jars of boogers, feces, urine, stomach acid, any icky thing in your body. (all fake of course)
The third gallery on the main floor is the Green's Garage and Garden. You learn about the environment, weather, recycling, gardening/growing, water and erosion, etc. In the Garage, they have a remote weather forecast studio, where you can record your own weather forecast complete with real footage of real weather. When you are done you get to see yourself on the 'newscast'. Huge hit with my kids.
On the main floor there is also a stage for live science demos about various topics and the Imax theatre.
Upstairs there are tons of hands on activities/brainbusters on all sorts of topics. There is the outer space gallery with tons of computers to do simulations, view NASA photos; there is a space shuttle to walk through (my kids love to sit on the space toilet), a solar powered mini Mars rover to try to maneuver across the terrain; oh tons of cool stuff. They have a computer lab and a Lego Mindstorms lab in there as well. Next to that is the discovery gallery for the younger kids. There is a blocks and trains area; a water table area, complete with wave machine; a science crate, preschool computer area that has a beehive in the summer; and the top area has a giant floor piano, funhouse mirrors, puppet theatre, giant puzzles. All my kids can spent hours there. Up from that are some classrooms.
The last gallery is the feature gallery that changes themes several times a year. They had an awesome dinosaur display recently and now have a Lego Starwars display. This area also has a bunch of hands on physics and body mechanics type displays and a huge lightning in a box.
On the third floor is the planetarium, can't wait to go there again!

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