What’s on at Alberta’s science centers

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Science is cool. And hot. And everything in between. What better way to explore and enjoy science in its many forms than by heading to the science center. Both Edmonton and Calgary are lucky to be home to amazing facilities dedicated to making science exciting for people of all ages. Here’s the latest on offer at each.

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Telus Spark Science Center

Calgary’s Telus Spark continues to spark fun and imagination. With loads of hands-on exhibits and activities throughout, you’ll find science-related fun for the whole family where no two visits are the same.

A must-see digital immersion gallery, the Quantum Sandbox plunges you into the world of the subatomic. With massive floor-to-ceiling images in a constant state of flux, you see how everything is in constant motion and changes depending on what it connects with – including you! As you move through the gallery, so do the images around you. It’s a spellbinding delight for your senses. The gallery also links the quantum realm to Indigenous ways of knowing – the belief that spirit or energy is all around us.

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If you love virtual reality, the new all-ages Pixelarius VR Zone is for you. It’s a multi-player VR attraction that transports you and up to five other players into a fantasy world where you can play and interact together. For a solo VR experience, board Birdly, where you transform into a pterosaur to explore the late Jurassic period from the sky. Birdly isn’t limited to visual impressions, but also aural and tactile sensations that give you an all-encompassing experience of flight.

The Quantum Sandbox at Telus Spark plunges you into the world of subatomic.  COURTESY: TELUS SPARK
The Quantum Sandbox at Telus Spark plunges you into the world of subatomic. COURTESY: TELUS SPARK

The Rescue! exhibit is particularly fun for the little ones, where you can test your rescue instincts in 17 different interactive situations. From seeing if you can pull your own weight to flying a helicopter simulation, you can prove your emergency readiness.

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On the second level, there’s a lot to explore including the Open Studio, where you can design and build using real tools and technology. The Being Human exhibit makes you think about how you think and feel, how your heart beats and how your germs spread when you sneeze. Plus, who can refuse a sip from the toilet fountain? (Definitely not my kid.)

During your visit, you might encounter Flint, a robo-pup who is Spark’s official education ambassador. By helping to teach Flint new tricks, kids learn about coding. Keep an eye out for him as he roams the center with handlers daily. Buy your Spark tickets online at sparkscience.ca.

Telus World of Science – Edmonton

Reopened in February after a massive overhaul and expansion, Telus World of Science – Edmonton is home to Alberta’s largest IMAX screen (with an array of films to choose from) and the only 10K-resolution dome theater in the world providing incredibly sharp, highly detailed images. Add to that a new Indigenous medicine garden and traditional room, hundreds of hands-on exhibits, cool technology and science experiments – and you’ll need more than a few visits to experience all of it.

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Head over to the Science Garage where a new workshop awaits. Filled with scroll saws, hand drills, palm routers, sanders and the like, you can build like never before. Build larger-than-life structures using the Rigamajig building set and try the state-of-the-art laser cutter, a large format 3D printer along with laptops, tablets and other gadgets for tinkering with computational thinking.

The Demo Stage at Telus World of Science - Edmonton.  COURTESY: TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE - EDMONTON
The Demo Stage at Telus World of Science – Edmonton. COURTESY: TELUS WORLD OF SCIENCE – EDMONTON

Ever wonder what your heartbeat and veins look like? Find out in the new Health Zone, where you can also test your flexibility and your leg power. Don a lab coat and do a DNA extraction in the biology lab.

Space enthusiasts will love taking a trip to the moon at the SPACE Gallery (Stars, Planets, Astronauts, Comets, Etc.) where you can command a lunar lander to the surface of the moon. Don’t miss the 3D theater where you can find out how a piece of the moon made its way to Earth and see the actual moon rock itself.

On weekends, don’t miss a showing of Thermal Theaters, where you can watch a live experiment that explores temperatures in an explosive way at the science stage. And of course, for science-inspired gifts, gadgets, games, books, eco-gifts along with Do-It-Yourself Science Kits (created by TELUS World of Science) and other curiosities, look no further than the new Galaxy Gift Shop. Plan your visit at telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division.

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