When we were invited to visit the Glasgow Science Centre in July I don’t know who was more excited – me or my two wee reviewers. We are geeky science junkies in this house, always wanting to know “how does this work?” (and frequently “reverse engineering” items to find out how they were built), and our most well thumbed book is the pop up Body Book – I kid you not – if you have young children and haven’t got this book I totally recommend it. Particularly for the sheer entertainment that happens every time my 5 year old sees someone smoking..” Mum…(she shrieks in a stage whisper)..shall we get them the book and show them what happens to their lungs when they smoke. They musn’t know…” So when the lovely people at the Science Centre told us that they had a new exhibition Body Works that covered a whole floor we could barely wait to get there.
Here we are on the morning of our visit..
I have to admit that I was basking in the glory of being there, on time, all excited and happy and knowing that nothing could top this on our summer trip to Glasgow ( a visit to the Lego shop the day before had come perilously close) and then… right after I took these photos a Glaswegian gentleman decided to cycle into the water feature/pond and execute a spectacular bellyflop into the water…how on earth was the Science Centre going to top that for children’s entertainment?
We headed straight for Body Works – well with the promise of a dissection and two blood and gut thirsty mini terrors you do, don’t you. And how we LOVED it – we could have spent the whole day there.
We returned to this first piece in the exhibition time and again – much fun was had and lots of hand, face and bottom contours were made! We also loved that one of the ever smiling, never tiring staff happily pushed all the pieces flat again so we could have another go ..and another…and another..
Next, it was on to the human hamster wheel – which measured your energy output and was jolly hard work! Then deconstructing vital organs – epic fun.
Kate particularly loved the little tabard with the velcro on organs (some of the photos were hilarious but sadly, unsuitable for a family blog!) while Tom loved the machines and gadgets that measured heart function..
This was one of the most clever features of the exhibitions all over the Science Centre – that they appealed to all ages. Different groups could enjoy the same interactive displays in different ways. One moment a father would be absorbed in the information about brain wave performance and the next 5 year old Kate would be learning the same information but in an age appropriate activity. Very clever.
Next up one of the lovely helpers asked Tom and Kate if they would like to play a memory game – as you can see they were very thoughtful about the process! But is was a great game designed to illustrate how difficult it is to remember a simple list, but how much easier it is to remember the items on that list if you make up a story incorporating those items.
We spent a while longer measuring the power of brain waves – this was terribly impressive. The children strapped electrode wraps round their heads and tried to be the most relaxed in order to move an object. Absolutely intriguing for all of us. Then we took part in some more physical challenges – how high we could jump, looking at a skeleton mimicing our movements as we pedalled a bicycle and running time trials. All recorded on the clever little oyster style cards given to the children by the staff. They could record which activities they had been to, measure what they did and their improvements and take photos. A fantastic souvenir of their visit.
Wow. After all of that it was lunchtime! We headed downstairs for coffee (for Mum) and juice and sandwiches for my little science boffins. They didn’t want to pause and really wanted to carry on investigating.
After lunch we were scheduled to attend a 3D presentation in the IMAX theatre followed by a trip to the Planetarium. The 3D film was Sea Rex and we were utterly captivated. I had wondered if the topic (the discovery of dinosaur fossils and their scientific import) would hold the children’s attention. But it did. The film was perfectly balanced and crafted and I was thrilled to watch Tom and Kate lean out of their seats to try and stroke the Tyranosaurus who appeared to be leaning into the IMAX theatre. Utter magic!
We dashed from there to the Planetarium which was a wonderful experience too. Tom and Kate particularly related to the young and engaging staff throughout the Glasgow Science Centre and listened really attentively to the description and de-coding of the mysteries of the night skies. Now they know how to find the North Star and to name the larger constellations.
Another quick juice stop then we dashed off to spend the final hour of the day in the Science Mall. Somewhere we had visited before and we were looking forward to seeing some favourite exhibitions. They didn’t disappoint.
Tom getting up close and personal with a giant African land snail (Kate did a very girly squeal at this point!)
Zooming around the track while Tom explores in the background.
Some images looking at visual perception and distortion – guaranteed magnets for all photographers!
Huge thanks to the Glasgow Science Centre and particular thanks to the friendly, knowledgable and engaging staff. A highly recommended day out for the family.
Words and photography by Rosie Woodhouse at Love Skye Photography