When you ring a bell in space, not only is there nobody to hear it, it makes no sound… not even a tiny tinkle. Wondering why this is? Head on down to Planet Pioneers at Scitech, a new exhibition for all ages, and find out the answer to this conundrum along with many more interesting space facts. You’ll also discover how to set up life on a brand new planet. I’m quite happy with the one we’ve got, but I guess you never know what’s around the corner. Things we take for granted can be extinguished at any time! I know that for a fact because I actually felt quite similar to that silent bell in space during our exclusive sneak preview of the exhibition. Read on to find out why…
You see, I’d completely lost my voice to laryngitis the day prior to the launch of Planet Pioneers, so it was going to be an interesting evening, and keeping my girls in check was going to be a challenge. But with sweet promises of, “We’ll be good,” and armed with a trusty pen and paper, off we went, complete with star-themed outfits. I even decided to wear a silver space wig to make up for my lack of pep; although, in retrospect, it didn’t really do me any favors. I’m pretty sure most people at the event were wondering who the mute was with the Marilyn wig, why she was in space, and also why she was being so rude. I said “hello” back with my inside-voice, honestly.
Brushing my embarrassment aside, the girls and I descended onto the seventeen hands-on exhibits, together with our mission checklists and instructions from the staff to get our “hands dirty”. You didn’t need to ask us twice. First spaceport of call was the spinning capsule of death, complete with blood nose and vomit from the G-force. Only joking. The girls came out alive and well, although extremely dizzy. They didn’t quite reach G-force, but they sure gave it a good go! We got our hands dirty growing space potatoes next, but unfortunately we couldn’t find our green fingers in our space gloves. Needless to say, our colony went hungry. Sorry, guys. However, we were quite skilled at getting our planet ready for settlement, and we located the air, water, and space food without too much trouble. When it comes to the basics, we got it covered, y’all. And you don’t need a voice to press buttons. Yay!
The most popular experience was the space-buggy drive across a dry and alien red landscape. The girls were fascinated by the wonder of being able to drive their own car! Especially when the view was so damn cool. But of course, every other child in the room liked driving too, and poor Space Mom didn’t even get a turn. Standing in front of the full-size screen, though, I could imagine how it would feel to explore a strange new land. And I was sure the queue would settle down eventually.
In the meantime, we were happy to move on to the DIY rocket launcher. This experiment reminded me of a happy time last summer when we mixed up a volatile concoction of bicarb of soda and vinegar in our kitchen and watched our makeshift rocket blast off right over the garden. Scitech’s exhibit must have worked on a similar principle: pressure and fuel. Could there be a combination more fun? Not according to my girls, who took great delight in pumping the levers and watching their rocket take off. Time and time again. Very noisily. Their screams of joy were making me slightly jealous of their voices, so I was happy when I noticed the smell of pizza, drifting across the space-scape. I had smell, at least! and also a rumbly tummy.
The girls were hungry too, and after refueling at the food stations, we visited the face-painter who painted rainbow shooting stars on their little cheeks. We also made smoke signals, sent a message through tubes, saw our bodies in infrared, played space hockey, and we finally sat in the “spinny chair” (its technical name according to Ada). It was going to be hard to drag them away from Scitech when it was finally time to go. There’s an endless amount of activities for kids, and discovery has never been so fun!
Back on our new planet, we next had a go at shooting an exploratory parachute from our spaceship onto a surface target. Eve and Ada just didn’t have the weight behind them to force the parachute out the tube, but Space Mom had no problems. Have you ever seen a silent woman in a silver wig launching herself across the room onto a launch pad? I thought not. I was pretty surprised myself, although there wasn’t a yelp to be heard. A final highlight of the evening was a photo with an astronaut. Well, it was for me anyway. I think the girls had had quite enough of me taking photos of them throughout the night, but the smiles in this pic were more than genuine. Ada looked great in the space helmet, and I reckon Eve now knows what she wants to be when she grows up. As for me? I think I’ll stick to planet Earth. I can’t get used to the silence of space – way too eerie for me.
“Mummy, this is the best day ever!” came Ada’s final verdict. And that sums it up quite nicely. Thank you Scitech for a fantastic evening. My first visit to Scitech lived up to all that was promised and more. We’ll be back. And hopefully, so will my voice!
Enjoy a fun-filled day out with the family at Scitech and receive $5 off your family pass with your KidzaBuzz Membership, found in the Fun & Physical section. Download your membership today …Why wouldn’t you want to Invest a Little to Save a Lot???
For more information on Scitech, visit www.scitech.org.au