Monday, September 23, 2013

Visiting The Ontario Science Center

This weekend we were in Toronto for my Mother-In-Law's Birthday celebration.

On the way there we drove through a rainstorm so heavy that the road markings on the highway disappeared. Unfortunately, the rain and solid cloud cover continued through the next day and killed our plans for having the birthday celebration at the top of the CN Tower as there wouldn't be anything to see but clouds. As an alternative we went to a fine Teppanyaki dinner with the family to celebrate.

That left time during the day for Tash to take her mom out shopping and for me to take the kids to the Ontario Science Center.

After passing the admission booths, you enter a hall that lays out geologic time from the beginning of the earth forward with large dated rock samples along the way, and the kids learned that way back in the day, 3 billion years ago, Ontario had active volcanoes:

Moving forward in time, note the lovely large chunk of silver in this one, dating to 2.2 billion years ago:

Then it was on to the Space exhibit. Sadly, the space planetarium show was closed for renovation. However, in addition to scale models of the solar system and a model of the space shuttle, some impressive pictures from the Hubble telescope could be seen, along with very useful descriptions of what exactly you were viewing on the photo.

In this case, the Andromeda Galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor at only 2.5 million light-years away is featured:

You'll note the description states the Andromeda galaxy is on a collision course with our own and will crash the party in about 3 billion years. This was good as I was highly worried it was going to collide resulting in a disaster in 3 million years, so there's still time.

Moving on to the next level, we saw a presentation on King Richard III.

It turns out that in addition to being vilified by Shakespeare, and suffering the indignity of being buried under a parking lot, he also was afflicted with roundworms.

As a result, he truly was entitled to use the royal "We".

The presentation also discussed how worms and bacteria are transmitted and what kids can do to prevent getting sick, with the simplest measure being to just properly wash your hands every time before you eat or touch your mouth.

There was tons of hands-on science experiments and things for the kids to do at the OSC and they joyfully tried as many of them as they could from playing working glockenspiels made from tools:

To making and flight-testing paper airplanes in the flight exhibit:

The paper airplane test center had a scale model of the Avro Arrow close by for inspiration:

There was also a wingspan calculator that figured out how big a wingspan you'd need to fly like a bird. In Leah's case it was a 15.91 foot wingspan to get her off the ground.

Of course, No visit to the OSC is complete without attending the electricity demonstration featuring their Van De Graaf Generator:

The kids had a great time and saw and did just about everything the OSC had to offer. From a mini-rainforest to a paper-making exhibit and tons of hands-on physics experiments, the OSC is a great place to take your kids if you're visiting Toronto.

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