Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ontario Science Center

Tuesday I chaired a session in the morning for the Gender and Diversity Division, and then took Tigana with me to the Ontario Science for the afternoon. (Mary took Kasia with her to the afternoon sessions since she was not presenting, and as an audience member could slip out when Kasia got too fussy.)

The featured exhibit was on the physics of roller coasters, complete with a "build your own" kit that allowed kids to experiment with different heights, sizes of loops and so on to see which designs would work, and which would not, and why.
Tigana and I particularly enjoyed the human centrifuge where they demonstrated circular motion -- we got quite a bit of time in the 'ride', as they demonstrated walking against and with the motion, walking towards the center and back, giant steps verses tiny ones, bowling (having to take curve created by circular motion into account) and so on. It was great!

Tigana with the mural she created.
The second highlight was the kids area, including an intriguing art board consisting of thousands of pins that could be pushed forward various lengths to create impressions/pictures of people or objects pressed into the other side.

Finally, Tigana loved playing in the 'supermarket', an area designed, I believe, to teach children how to select from the four food groups to achieve a balanced diet, but Tigana of course ignored the educational 'grocery lists', and just stuffed her basket with random items -- a stack of carrots, for example, even though she never eats them. So someone explain to me why, when we take Tigana grocery shopping, she whines for a minimum of two hours before, the entire time during, and at least another hour after, about how boring shopping is and how we are torturing her with it, but she will happily role play shopping for an hour and resent having to stop?

Ontario Science Center gets an 'A' for hands-on kids activities, and probably rates another 'A' for its other displays, had I had a chance to see them as more than a blur as Tigana pulled me past them....

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