TELUS Spark Science Center
My Day of Science Exploration

So the other day, I went to the TELUS Spark Science Center in Calgary on a field trip.  The purpose of the trip was actually to watch a knee surgery, (which I found absolutely awesome) but afterwards we got the chance to explore the different exhibits. So this article is going to be about all the amazing things I saw and did that day.

So the TELUS Spark Center is actually Calgary's main science center. It is a really good place to visit especially for eager young minds who want to know more about the mechanisms that make up our world. There are numerous exhibits and programs that ignite a sense of wonder and excitement such as:

  •        Daily live science demonstrations
  •        Science Bites
  •        Open Studio Drop-in Workshop
  •        Cloud Cannons
  •         Hovercrafts

The TELUS Spark Center is a great for everyone in the family, young and old, to experience the mysteries of science and technology.  A visit to this center will open up new ways of thinking about and understanding our world. It is quite an exhilarating venture.

Dinosaurs In Motion

There are special and seasonal events to go to. There are frequently new exhibits to try out and see. The Traveling Exhibition I saw was 'Dinosaurs in Motion', which was really cool. It’s a collection of 14 dinosaurs, hanging in the air, with contraptions (pulleys, levers, remote controls)  that you can use to make them fly and move about. Some of the dinosaurs also have sound effects, which really brings them to life. 

The Creator of the dinosaur sculptors was the Late John Payne, who fused engineering, art and innovation to create these amazing structures.  The life-sized metal dinosaurs are inspired by and anatomically based on actual fossils, and created from recycled materials!

There are various stations with hands-on activities, where you can learn new skills and put your knowledge to the test. They focus on the processes of art and engineering that go into developing the kinetic sculptures. 

A very inspirational quote I found at the exhibit was of course that of John Payne: 'If you can dream it, you can do it.'

Earth and Sky

Another exhibit I visited was the earth and sky exhibit where there are different pans and water dripping on them, I didn’t really understand it at first but then I learned that by tapping on the pans along with the water drops you can make different sounds, which was fun. It's quite an experience to be a 'DJ' with raindrops.

There was a section called 'Coloring the sky' with samples of jars with the colors we see in the sky. The Center asked visitors to recreate their favorite skies using water and natural dyes and pigments and that is what this section is about. It is very pretty and demonstrates the fact that sunlight is a mixture of many different colors.

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Energy and Innovation

The energy and innovation exhibit also had much to offer. There was a section at the front called 'Jumping the Gap' featuring a 'Jacob's Ladder'. It explained that it can be difficult to move electricity through air- but if enough of a voltage is used, you can get it to pass through the air In a spark. The Jacobs ladder used 15000 volts as the force to push the electricity through the air between two tall electrodes.  It was really fascinating to watch this, seeing a white spark shoot seemingly by magic into the air.

In this exhibit there was also a charging section where you could charge your mobile phones for 'free'. All of the electricity used to charge the battery comes from human-powered generators. After being pleased to finally find a charger that matched my phone, I went to the other side o f the station and there I found hand cranks that you turn to turn the generators. Admittedly, my attempt to build up enough energy to charge my phone properly was quite pathetic and I only managed to charge  it 1 %, which soon disappeared as I took it out of the charger. Nevertheless, my companions were good at it, and the whole experience was amusing.

Next, we went to try out the musical solar panels. So basically solar panels convert light into electricity, the more light that strikes them, the more energy they generate. The station used this electricity generated to create musical notes, transforming light into electricity and electricity into sound energy. It was fun spinning the hand held  light sources to hit the solar panels and discovering the variety of  sounds made, trying to make different musical patterns with light. Talk about a good spin on the old solar panels.

I very much liked the design of the energy and innovation exhibition, it was appropriately modern and exciting, metallic and unusual.

There was also a section where you could spin a dial to see Calgary's weather over the past year, which was quite interesting. Later on I moved to a section which was like a photo booth where you could take pictures wearing comical glasses ( which took a lot of effort to keep on my face).  It was a great finding and I took many photos with my friends.

Highlights...

One of the most interesting parts of the science center for me was the memory section. It had a box with words written on it and you had to try and remember all of the words. I was particularly intrigued by the psychological experiments of Elizabeth Loftus  which showed that if you ask people to remember the events from their lives and 'remind' them of a fictional event, they are extremely likely to 'remember' the fictional event as really having happened to them the next  time they're asked. Every time you remember something, it is vulnerable to change. Memory is such a fascinating concept.

So those were basically the gems of my expedition. At the end of my day I was able to make a visit to the café, and enjoy some fries with Louisiana hot sauce on the side. And so I went back to my school bus, inspired and full of thoughts about the natural world and technology.

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