Saturday, September 29, 2007

Science is fun!

Last weekend, we had a couple of visitors from Sydney so we decided to spend Sunday morning at Questacon.

The first gallery we toured was the Sideshow Alley exhibition. In it, the science behind carnival rides and sideshow games is explored. Elijah had fun trying to put the balls in the clown's mouth. He needed a bit of help!

Any time Elijah came across a ball in that gallery, he had to pick it up and carry it around. Of course, there was a struggle every time we had to return the balls to their rightful place.

Questacon has one gallery set aside purely for children under the age of six, called "Mini Q". We spent quite a bit of time in this gallery, following Elijah around. He looked very cute in his baby lab coat.

There were areas sectioned off for different activities. One had a couple of small cars (secured to the floor) with a petrol station. Elijah was very excited about the cars, constantly repeating "Car". So we sat him in one of the cars and took some photos!

He got the hang of the steering wheel pretty quickly. Although, the way he was wrenching it around, I wouldn't have liked to have been his passenger!

They had a little vet surgery with toy animals and first aid kits (which is where we got the lab coat) and next door was a little bakery. Elijah tried to eat the plastic bread rolls!

There was a water play area in this gallery as well, so we returned the lab coat and put a smock on Elijah so he could have a splash. He particularly liked the toy frogs in the pond.

After we exhausted ourselves in Mini Q, we toured through the other galleries. The activities and exhibits in these galleries were aimed at primary school level and higher, so Elijah had less hands on things to do, but he enjoyed pressing the buttons that lit up on some of the exhibits. His favourite part was a simulation of a space shuttle. There were lots of buttons to press and a voice-over that did a countdown to launch. It took quite a while to convince him to leave the simulation.

Unfortunately, the "Science of Music" exhibition closed earlier this year. I thought Elijah would have fun a ball experimenting with different sounds. So instead, we spent more time in the Wavelength exhibition, which looked mostly at light waves. There were some very interesting holograms and you could also stand or move between two screens and create an interesting, coloured silhouette. We had fun dancing between the screens. Elijah wouldn't go between them himself, so I encouraged him to chase me, which resulted in this awesome photo!

Of course, eventually, Elijah's patience wore thin. He got hungry and tired and had a tantrum in the shop on the way out, so I found a quiet place to sit on the ground and he ate some sandwiches. He was so tired, he preferred to lie on my legs instead of sitting next to me.

I knew Questacon was fun, but didn't realise quite how much fun Elijah would have there. Hopefully we can take him back again and spend more time in the Mini Q gallery, so that he can really get immersed in science.


quilly said...

I always thought science was fun, but OC mumbles things about spread sheets and budgets and time lines ... that doesn't sound so much like science -- or fun!

The Mumma said...

No it doesn't. Maybe he needs to visit Questacon!