Friday, May 28, 2010

A Science Field Trip

What an enormous truck met our eyes as we drove into the Tellus Science Museum on Monday. Seems like the same size used in the Zambian copper mines - remember, anyone?
This photo is added from March 15, 2011 just to show a growth comparison! Did they grow in 10 months?

Inside the cavernous entrance is a huge replica of a dinosaur (no, not the T-rex - that is farther into the dark recesses of the fossil section). The planetarium entrance is in that huge blue wall. I didn't take any photos in there (by then my camera battery was dead). Inside the domed theatre, we watched "Extreme Planets". There were about 5 different movies to choose from but this one was at the convenient time (@3 bucks a pop)! Also in the lobby is a foucault pendulum which knocks wooden slats over as it (we) goes around.

Aaarrrgh! This huge sea turtle is after me, Mom! Watch out behind you, child - that one looks more ferocious!

In the Gemology section we were able to pan for gems! Yay - the highlight of the whole museum, me thinks! We were able to each find, and joy of joys, keep, a whole bag of little semi-precious gems including amethyst, carnelian, jasper, tiger's eye, obsidian, many coloured quartz, agate, turquoise and many, many others. In that area was also a fossil dig and the girls got to keep one each.

Some of the gorgeous gems - they seemed to have thousands of all shapes, sizes and colours. They weren't ALL in spherical shapes. Also had a section on volcanoes and earthquakes.

One of the ingenious exhibits was of the periodic table - visually (as far as possible) portraying the element; when it was discovered; how it's used and what it looks like etc. MOST enlightening - wish I'd had this to look at in high school chemistry!

In the transportation section we got to see the earliest of cars (with mirror underneath to see the "workings"), up to a modern sports car, a miniature steamtrain, then planes and jets, cockpits, and models of space craft of various sorts. Actually, I think there was also a real space module/capsule? etc.

Another section called "Your Big Backyard" includes a lot of hands-on exhibits exploring light and reflection/refraction; sound and sound waves; magnetism; weather (including a thunderstorm, and live weather for the area), force and air pressure, heat and conduction; natural history such as the life cycles of various animals; and electricity. Since it was more hands-on in this section, the girls enjoyed this section a lot.

Trying out all the noise makers modeled after the way various animals make noise.

The "house" of electricity and magnetism, and the yard "outside".

Well, that gives an overview of our visit.  Due to space, I can't include all the wonderful photos but this gives an idea.  Ta-ta.

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