A Visit to the Science Centre & Museum

04 Feb

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.


Of course, things are always more special with great friends.

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?


There were a few hands on activities in the Discovery Centre…but not nearly enough in my opinion and certainly not challenging at all.


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!


Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Field Trips, Science


7 responses to “A Visit to the Science Centre & Museum

  1. April

    February 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks for the comprehensive post. I’m thinking of taking the kids to the science centre this week. I went in the early 90’s so I’m sure it has changed dramatically… Where do recommend parking? Is it toddler friendly? 🙂

  2. Tracey

    February 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    It will have change a huge amount. In the 90s it was in a completely different location. It’s at the museum now and a tad smaller than in the pre-museum days but it’s better than having lost it altogether.

    Oh it is very toddler friendly at the Science Centre. They can touch everything and there would be plenty in the other areas of the Science Centre that toddlers might enjoy. Toddlers could happily roam and play without causing any trouble. It wouldn’t be as interesting for them in the Whodunit exhibit though. But there’s nothing they could harm or could harm them.

    I usually park in the convention centre, just a personal preference, but there is good parking right at the museum too. It’s underneath and both very similarly priced.

  3. April

    February 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Sounds great! Oooo, I’m excited now. Thanks Tracey 🙂

  4. Bernadette

    February 7, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Oh we had the whodunnit exhibit at our scitech here late last year If you get the search and rescue one next you’re in for a treat also 🙂 but oh my goodness you should have seen the debate on our local HS forum about the appropriateness of the exhibit for ” sensitive” children!! Weird homeschoolers 😉

  5. Tracey

    February 7, 2012 at 7:44 am

    You’re kidding. They were upset about the exhibit. Ridiculous. It’s designed for over 8s so surely they can cope. There’s nothing at all gory or horrific or even upsetting. But then I don’t have ‘sensitive’ (in the sooky sense) kids. We’re all level headed reality type folk here. For us the exhibit was very matter-of-fact. Gosh how would those sensitive homeschoolers ever play Cluedo! Hehehe.

  6. Bernadette

    February 8, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    lol yeah, but to be fair, the mum who was MOST up in arms about it, does have a child on the Autism spectrum, but personally i do think she projects a lot of her fears onto the child :/ I have some book questions for you, but Jamie needs some help. i will email you asap, if you don’t mind 🙂 ps do you see my (now ancient) post? i finally put up our (dodgy) house photos 😀

    • Tracey

      February 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Yes I saw your house photos…the ones from mid December aren’t they. Or am I missing something new. I’ll have to go and check.

      You can email me any time. Happy to chit chat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: