We had our first excursion of the year this past week…you have to get in before the schools over run the place you know. We went to the Science Centre to see the new “Whodunit?” exhibit. It was excellent and I highly recommend it.
The exhibit focuses on the Forensic Sciences.
A crime scene is simulated and the children have to set to work gathering evidence from their observations, noting everything in their “Crime File”.
Then they move around the exhibit collecting additional evidence from the various forensic science activity centres.
The children matched tyre treads from the suspects’ vehicles to a tyre tread left at the crime scene.
They compared the suspects’ fingerprints to the partial print left at the scene.
They also created their own fingerprint images.
The children used an identikit to create an image of a suspect seen fleeing the crime scene.
They explored DNA and matched a DNA sample from the scene to one of their suspects.
They even used their noses like sniffer dogs – trust me, sniffer dogs can keep their job!
Prior to entering the exhibit parents are warned that the exhibit may upset some children. They also recommend that the participants be 8 years and older. However our children were not at all disturbed by the crime scene or morgue bodies. In fact they were very curious and fully engaged in gathering evidence about how the poor fella met his demise.
Some of our group (of a more mature nature…I won’t mention names since she’s probably reading….hehehe) were more disturbed by the ‘decomposition by maggot’ video. Yet the kids had to watch it twice as they thought it was “Cool”.
We loved the “Whodunit?” exhibit. I’m so pleased we got in before the schools. We were able to spend ages freely exploring the displays, and pondering and discussing our hypothesis…do they call it that for a crime? Hmmm…
Since everything has been moved around and changed at the Science Centre we also spent a little time exploring the rest of the exhibits. It’s funny how a little layout change refreshes things.
The children quickly located their favourite activities though.
Our friends had to leave after lunch but we stayed on to explore the newly renovated Museum. The foyer has vastly changed. I love the new, sprawling Museum store. The old one was small and chaotic.
My techno boy located all of the new touch screens in the building of course.
We found that a lot hadn’t really changed at all. If I had to summarise the renovations I would say it was more of a reshuffle and spruce. Sure there was a new big wooden central staircase but aside from that it was pretty much the same old museum as always.
To be fair there were a lot of changes in the Discovery Centre…you know the room that holds all of the animal specimens.
It’s a much more inviting space now.
Don’t these skeletons look like some sort of prehistoric flying dinosaurs? In actual fact they are Tawny Frogmouths.
We loved the suspended specimens. They invite the children into the space…well most of them. I can imagine that there would be some sensitive folk who couldn’t be convinced to walk under that shark for all the tea in China!
We found the perspective fascinating. My boys wanted to know about the scar under this specimen so I shared my limited understanding of taxidermy…which reminds me that I need to Google something more knowledgeable to share with them. Hmmm…this is when an ipad with 3G internet connection would be perfect. I wouldn’t have to draw on my rattling brain space for answers…we could just Google everything. No 3G on my ipad though. Looks likes I’m still it. Poor kids. Heheheh.
Our favourite live specimen were still there too.
Well not MY favourite, my son’s. He has this thing for snakes. Pray that he doesn’t ever ask for a pet one. However my other son has a fascination for Bird-eating Spiders and he saw one in the pet store. If it’s a choice between the two I’ll get the snake, particularly this green fellow. You really have to look closely to see if he’s stuffed or not, although my logical son pointed out that they wouldn’t include water and a heat lamp if he was stuffed. Hmmm…how true. Whose homeschooling who in this family huh?
And why is it that out of all the specimens to observe my boys bypass the cute little critters and head straight for the nasty spiders? Yeah, this is my Bird-eating Spider man. He wanted to check out what Funnel Web Spiders looked like so he would know one if he saw it. I’m hoping he never sees one. Certainly not at MY house!!
The boys weren’t terribly interested in the native artifacts
but they found something that was right up boy alley…
A kangaroo water bottle! How….ummm…stylish?
Not only do we eat our national emblem but we use it as a fashion accessory. Bet there aren’t many nations that could boast that. Hehehe.
Oh and we attended a lecture on stick insects too. It was really good.
This is what the museum needs more of…ways to engage their audience. People need to hear the stories behind things. They need to interact with the exhibits, using more than just the visual sense, particularly children. I was hoping that the renovations might bring us into line with some of the great museums in other capital cities but, although there have been some improvements, they really don’t go far enough in addressing these issues.
However, we still managed to have a lovely day. Sometimes it’s what you make of the experience.
When the boys were asked which part of the day they enjoyed the most, they responded, “The part when the girls were here with us”. I have to agree with them. Everywhere is great with friends!