The Canada Science and Technology Museum is closed for repairs, but your kids can still get their science “fix” at Science Funfest. Held annually as part of National Science and Technology Week in October, this FREE event features more than 70 interactive activities for your budding young Einstein, with hands on experiences in energy, forestry, mining, geology, mapping, astronomy and agriculture.
As Funfest veterans, my kids (ages 4 and 8) recommend:
• Bringing in your favourite rocks and fossils for identification • Mining chocolate chip “ore” from a cookie “mine” (HINT: choose your tools wisely and clean up the mine site for biggest profits!) • Creating colourful spin art using solar energy • Seeing glaciers shrink over time in satellite pictures from space • Getting up close and personal with snakes, bugs, and spiders - (parents may be interested in meeting the Emerald Ash Borer; the invasive insect ravaging Ottawa’s ash trees) • Jumping up and down to make an earthquake that can be measured by a seismometer • Spinning the wheel for a skill-testing question in the food safety quiz (…how safe is the food in your lunch box by noon?) • Trying your hand – and eyes! – at land surveying and star-gazing • Starting a chemical reaction to make custom-coloured slime to take home
There are plenty of free giveaways at Science Funfest, so make sure you pick up a complementary “swag bag”. Balloons, face-painting, and Natural Resources Canada’s huge green mascot “NRCat” make it fun for even the littlest ones!
Science Funfest takes place rain or shine on Sunday, October 19 from 11am-4pm at Natural Resources Canada’s Booth Street Complex (on the corner of Booth Street and Carling Avenue across from Dow’s Lake). Dress warmly as some activities are outdoors in tents. Parking is free, and there are a few concessions on site.
Have you been to Science Funfest? What’s your favourite activity? Let me know in the comments.
Wendy is a freelance copywriter in Ottawa and a totally unbiased employee of the Earth Sciences Sector at Natural Resources Canada.