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Science North Sudbury Ontario. 1371

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,207 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Science North Sudbury Ontario.
« on: October 12, 2014, 03:02:09 PM »
I took a 4 hour drive yesterday to Sudbury, our closest Canadian City...for a visit to a location I hadn't visited in 29 years. Science North is located on the shores of Ramsey Lake in the city of Sudbury. They are celebrating their 30th year, and when I was last here, the facility had just opened the year before. Back then, I can recall a lot that was not completed. The giant whale skeleton was stored in boxes on site. Plenty of exhibits were not running, etc. It was a real work in progress. I was also a lot younger...and the place seemed so big compared to what I saw today. Oh it is a large facility, but seen through the eyes of an 12 year old the place was immense. With that said, I just scratched the surface of the place...which I will explain shortly.

I left at 6:30 am y to get to Sudbury for 11:30 am. I left Science North around 3:30. Got back at home at around 8 pm. I round that the few hours I was there wasn't enough to see everything. The place has expanded nicely in the past 29  years. :)

Here is their official web site.

Science North comprises of 3 buildings. The first building contains the ticket booth, IMAX theater, Planetarium, Whizards souvenir and toy store, a rolling exhibit area...which this time was one called Arctic Voices, and small drink and snack bar. Then you walk into a long hallway with a nice water fall feature into the second and smaller snowflake shaped building. Inside this are the cafeteria, and few other classrooms for programs that they run with the local schools etc. Then there is a partially underground tunnel that leads to the larger snowflake shaped building with most of the exhibits. If you are curious, you could always Google Map Sudbury Science North...move into the Satellite view, and that should give you a good sense of the site.

First off, the Arctic Voice Exhibit, which was located in a rather large space. Quite informative, with plenty of small informational stations, some interactive, and others that were not.

Now after walking through this exhibit, I walked through the adjoining hallway with the water feature to the smaller snowflake tunnel.

And into the underground tunnel to the larger building.

Now this is beautiful...but with my flash, it eliminated all the the tunnel is back-lighted with nice coloured LED lights.

Here I took the flash off and attempted to hold the very long shutter speed. I failed as I knew I would..but it will give you an idea of what the tunnel looked like.

Just outside of the tunnel under the larger building, there was a 20 minute video on Firefighting, in 4D. Perfect as I was slated to go to the Planetarium at noon, and then the Imax for 1. I didn't take any photos inside the theater, but this used to be the old IMAX theater location when Last I was here. Now, the theater has these force seats that move via hydraulic power. Not only that, wind, smoke, and even water is sprayed in your face during the video. The water took me completely by surprise...which explains why the 3D glasses handed out were so big. Here is a photo looking from the entrance of the theater back to the exit/entrance of the tunnel.

After that, I had only 10 minutes to go back to the first building to sit in the Planetarium. Now we were told that flashes were not allowed, I didn't take any photos. However, this was absolutely stunning. The show today was on the Aurora Borealis, and we sat in comfortable chairs that had backs at a 45 degree angle. Thus you sat down and looked up at the half dome. It was amazing, and I felt like I was travelling through space. After the informative and beautiful video, the speaker walked us through a few star constellations, etc. Well worth the 45 minutes it took in all. Very enjoyable

Then I sat down to drink something and wait the 15 minutes to enter the IMAX theater on Pandas. This took another 45 minutes...thus I found myself at almost 2 and not having done much other than see show after show. My original plan was to leave at around 2 for the Sault...but that was quickly out the door.

Going back through the hall and into the tunnel, and just past the Firefighting show in 4D, here is the start of the ramp up to the various floors in the larger snowflake building.

Climbing up the ramp, you are greeting with a very beautiful building. Here you can see the tail of the Whale skeleton.

In case you are wondering, I brought my neighbour along for the day. One part of the building comprises of these stunning ramps.

Partially up the first ramp, on its own little level, is an area for parents to keep their very young ones entertained.

More ramps.

The first level is all about fossils, insects, and spiders. Because mostly everything is interactive, they have plenty of fossils for you to examine and explore. There is an army of blue coated assistants, facilitators, and instructors on the premise to help field questions, etc.

Here is the view of the ramps from the fossil section of Science North.

This is a shot from the Fossil section towards the insects and Spider area on the same floor.

Metal seat found outside of the bug area.

Sorry for this...but I just couldn't resist taking photos of these delicacies.

Towards the back of the live specimen area, and walking past a blue coat with a giant stick bug and a gaggle of children swarming him as he was allowing them to pet the bug, was the butterfly exhibit. This is the main entrance to the exhibit.

And this was inside the um mud room. The butterfly exhibit had several measures to keep them from escaping. Mirrors were located in several locations so that you could self examine yourself for any hitchhikers. Likewise, there was 2 sets of door and a mud room. The last set of doors to the greenhouse had a blower gently blowing downwards...I assume strong enough to make them veer away and keep them in their nice warm greenhouse habitat.

Going past two sets of door and a waiting room, you enter this greenhouse with tons of butterflies and moths flying around. It was very pretty inside. Here are two feeder stations they had in the green house where fruit attracted a few residents.

Towards one end of the butterfly room  was this incubator. Set up to let the butterflies and moths out into the main room once they metamorphosis.

And a few shots of the few that stayed around long enough for me to take a quick shot lol.

End of part 1
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 04:08:00 PM by Chako »

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Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,207 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Science North Sudbury Ontario.
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 03:02:28 PM »
Start of part 2.

After spending some time looking at the fossils, live insects and spiders, and of course the butterfly room, it was time to go one level higher. There is that whale skeleton again.

The second level contains a lot of stuff. Central to the building is this theater that has 5 levels to it. After seeing the chemistry equipment located on the main floor, I can easily see they put on all sorts of chemistry, physics, and biology shows. Today, it was all about flying squirrels. This show lasted about 15 minutes after several children and an adult volunteered to be targets for the science center's resident group of flying squirrels. Very informative, but I wasn't allowed to use flash...because they are nocturnal creatures. This is the best I could do after pumping up my ISO speeds.

After the show, everyone was invited to pet one of the squirrels. I didn't do this because it was a massive line...but you can see them waiting just outside the porcupine enclosure. We met the porcupine earlier on a lower level ramp, as two blue-coats with proper protective gear was giving him his exercise among the crowds. Not something you see every day.

On this level, not only do you have the central theater, and live mammals such as a porcupine and beaver which I didn't get any photos of, there are plenty of other exhibits, and interactive displays...mostly on the northern forest.

A pair of Screech Owls.

One of 5 flying squirrels that the center has. 3 were used in the show mentioned above.

Various snakes,and turtles. I only took a few photos and only scratched the surface of what was available here.

Here are some of the various interactive stations located among all the living displays.

Even a very nice erosion table. Last time I was here, they had a crappy wooden one partially assembled. Looks like they upgraded it big time. :)

Here is a shot looking at the porcupine enclosure. To the right is the entrance to the central theater. To the far right, is the Beaver enclosure. Biggest beaver I have ever seen...but I couldn't take a photo as he was inside his hut with too many people encroaching around the view port.

Time to climb up higher.

Now at the very top...and there is that pesky whale again. Yes, there is an elevator located to the left.

Now the top floor is full of interactive displays on physics, chemistry, and biology. Probably the most popular floor, as most people were playing here...and I do mean everyone's children were in heaven. Here are some of the exhibits to be seen.

This was a fun one. Kids and adults get to build their racer and try it on the tracks.

Here is a general look with a few of the exhibits.

How about a magnet board with sprockets...allowing people to build their own clockwork mechanism

I 10 minutes at this display alone. I could have taken more time, but I was way past my original time table.

Flight simulator anyone. this one was already occupied by a 10 year old..who had a big grin on his face I may add.

After all that, it was time to head back to the parking lot and start the 4 hour drive back home. Here is a parting shot from the top floor of the main snowflake building, looking downwards at the various levels. I have always loved the architecture of this building, where it melds with the rocky environment, and all. Very stunning.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of Science North. If you do plan on visiting, give yourself a day to explore. I tried to do it in 4 hours and it was a bit rushed at that.  :D
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 04:13:30 PM by Chako »

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