Fun At ScienceWorks

“Cracking good job, Gromit!”

Well, that’s what Ben and I thought when we saw these scenes at the Scienceworks Museum in Melbourne on Monday.

Ben and I visited this wonderful centre of learning as an excursion treat for home school, as I had the day off.

I believe that a world without knowledge of science is a world without knowledge of truth, and it is a lack of general scientific knowledge, and connection with the natural world which is the reason why most of us don’t give a damn about things happening all around us, and pursue a shallow existence within the consumer kulture (I know its a long bow to draw, but there, I said it).
Anyway, I digress.  Gromit is very happy in this shot measuring his marrow.  His little garden looked perfect and so real.  In fact, I wish I had onions, carrots, and cauliflowers looking so good in my garden!
Other than the Wallace & Gromit exhibition, we visited all the normal displays like the Lightning room where they simulated lighting (of course), and the Planetarium.
In the Planetarium we learnt about the tilt of the Earths axis, and how it makes the seasons change. We also learnt about what is in the night sky right now.  We were shown that Mercury and Mars are in Scorpius in the west at sunset (in Melbourne), and whilst on the subject of Mars they showed us pictures and a movie about Curiosity lander that is now on the surface.  Maybe they will find out why Mars may have changed from having water a few billion years ago to that dry state it is in now.  It might even answer some questions about Earths own future.
We also learnt all about how light behaves, having a play with all sorts of light type experiments. 
There was even lots of information about how we are making climate change is happening, and some things to try and prevent it.  It was at a basic level, however I think it was pitched at kids.  I wish there was something pitched at the parents, calling on their sense of moral obligation.  Alas, no such display.
We also learnt about the origins of my favourite drinking vessel, the Keep Cup.  Hopefully you can read the poster also.  Millions of disposable cups saved from ending up in landfill.  I see so many of them now, that my coffee drinking method has become mainstream!
Other great displays were how our curbside recycling bin gets sorted into the separate components (tin cans, plastic bottles, paper etc.).  There were some cool hands on displays where you got to separate the waste yourself with magnets, blowers, and shakers.   
Anyway, as another treat I bought Ben two small kits to learn more about basic electronics.  The kits even have small solar panels!  
I remember having this type of kit bought for me when I was a kid, and I played with them for years learning all about simple radio circuits and the like.  I am looking forward to helping the lad do some experiments in the coming weeks.
We had a great day, and by the time we departed, our heads were swimming with so much information we would have put Einstein to shame!  However, I did remind Ben on the way home that just because science shows us that something is possible it doesn’t mean we should pursue the outcome, and that we must use wisdom to do what is right with this new knowledge.  I believe he understood what I meant.
I will leave you with this thought for the day;

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. ~ Isaac Asimov

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Comments

  1. says

    I LOVE the Wallace and Gromit displays – incredible detail. The Scienceworks Museum sounds like a fun place to absorb some knowledge – I bet Ben enjoyed it almost as much as his Dad. Hands on, interactive, with humour – all these things contribute to learning. Think how much Ben knows whether he realizes it or not, just from gardening, chooks and cheese making, from solar power, construction and baking. He has a far greater intuitive understanding about how things in the natural world interact, and the effects of human impact, than most kids his age, I’m sure.

    • says

      Cheers Dawn. It is a fantastic place to visit. I do believe you are right about Ben learning via osmosis. I asked him to cart all the chicken bedding over to the veggie patch the other day, and I quizzed him as to why we are doing this. He replied that it was to add a layer of mulch to keep the moisture in the soil. No flys on this lad that’s for sure. He does have a better understanding of the world around him, as our discussions are quite deep and meaningful.

      He is a great young man. x

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