Science FunFest “Rocks”! (…and minerals, and maps, and insects…)

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.

Science FunFest

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. 

Barbecued Apples

OK, hear me out. I realize summer is over. The temperatures are dropping, and even though I’m clinging desperately to the last of my vegetables, the frost will soon win.

But there’s still time to barbeque before the snow falls! And what’s better in October than freshly picked apples?

barbecued apple

What you need:

4-6 Ontario apples
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar (or maple syrup, or honey!)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
icing sugar

Core the top of the apples (you can leave the bottom so the sweet, gooey stuff doesn’t drip out onto your barbecue). In a small bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Place a dab inside each apple. Put the apples on the bbq and cook until the skin is wrinkly – be careful they don’t burn! Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Butterfly Show at Carleton University

Butterflies

Until this Monday, you can see butterflies at Carleton University. This is a free event though they do accept donations.

Live butterfly show sign

Over 1000 butterflies, representing more than 40 species, are flown in for this event. The butterflies are let loose in the greenhouse and flutter around for everyone to see

.Butterfly show dates

What I recommend:

  • don’t bring your stroller or park it just past the entrance in the designated area;
  • wear bright clothing so the butterflies will be attracted to you;
  • don’t wear a sweater (it’s hot in there!);
  • be prepared for a line.

And don’t forget to snap a picture in front of the enormous butterfly in the hall before you leave!

Website for more info: Annual Butterfly Show at Carleton University.