Vancouver - Science World at Telus World of Science.
31.12.2012 - 31.12.2012
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Today is kids day. Fun for the boys and fun for the child within. We are staying in Yaletown and across False Creek is Science World at Telus World of Science.
Between us and Science World is the BC Place Stadium. Every evening from our bedroom window you can see the blue iridescent lighting on the outside of the stadium. So today we got to have a quick walk around the complex on our way across the creek. We entered from Robson Street and was greeted by a series of statues as a memorial to the Canadian cancer research activist and athlete Terry Fox in the area that is named Terry Fox Plaza. My boys had never heard of Terry Fox, so this was a great opportunity to explain his journey and why they are celebrating his life in such a way.
BC Place Stadium has had a few incarnations since it was first opened in 1983. First it was used during Expo 86. During 2010 it underwent a renovation and was used in during the XXI Olympic Winter Games and X Paralympic Winter Games. Sam now knows this is where Taylor Swift will be holding a concert in June and wants to come back. It is also home the the BC Sportsman Hall of Fame. Rogers Arena, home to the Vancouver Canucks (ice hockey team) is across the road. This would then make this area the sporting mecca for for the locals.
The drizzling rain drove us onwards. It was a 10 minute walk around the False Creek Basin to Science World. It took us 20 minutes as we had to stop at a small rocky beach so the boys could throw rocks into False Creek. It is an impossibility for us go past any body of water without throwing something into it. Today was no exception.
The Science World building is quite distinctive. Most of you would recognise this memorable dome building as the Expo Centre during Expo 86. I wasn't sure what to expect when lined up to enter Science World.
There were a lot of families lined up with us. Most of the children were under 10 years of age so I assumed this meant my boys would be in for a treat. The building comprises of 2 floors and an omnimax theatre in the dome of the structure. Each floor has about 4 different galleries and laboratories. Today none of the laboratories were open.
I could write pages about how fantastic this place was and still not do it justice. It was fabulous to say the least. Everyone, old and young alike was exploring and challenging themselves with the puzzles and devices on exhibit. We particularly enjoyed Eureka! the Mitchell Odyssey Foundation Gallery that had lots of hands on physics exhibits with the themes of light, sound and kinetics. We spent an hour in that gallery alone.
Paul and I like the boys tried every gadget, experiment and exhibit. We were having a great time. I can't remember the last time I had fun constructing building block dams, shooting plastic balls into water fountains and mucking around with sound waves. It was great!
Our other favourite spot was the Search: The Sara Stern Gallery. This gallery contained rock samples, fossils, live animals and insects (such as cockroaches, stick insects, a guinea pig, a tortoise, snakes and many other little critters) along with exotic plants. There were dinosaur models. The Tyrannosaurus Rex being the showpiece. Pat was spellbound. He worked out that the T-Rex could fit about 8 to 10 of him in his belly.
We spent 4 hours here at Science World which was too short. As it was New Years Eve, the building was closing 2 hours earlier than usual. This is a place that if you were a local you would have membership to enjoy it all year round. I loved being able to show my boys a real human brain and heart. They were fascinated.
Every gallery was interesting and you learnt something. The message often simple, but not always recognisable at first glance. This was engineering and science for all.
I was sad we had to leave. We could have easily spent another 2 hours here. During the walk home we spoke continuously of our time there and recounted the funny and interesting moments. I decided there just isn't enough of these "science worlds" and we need more. What a great day we had. It will be hard to match tomorrow, so there is no point in trying.
Happy New Year everyone! Good wishes for a great year in 2013.