By Melissa Vroon
October 29th, 2011

Telus Spark Calgary Science Centre

The new Telus Spark Calgary Science Centre opens to the public this morning at 9:00am. Yesterday my son Evan and were invited to have a sneak peak of what all the fuss is about. Telus Spark is broken up into different sections and themes. We tried to visit most of them yesterday. The science centre is quite large and rather than rush through everything we took the time to “play’ with as many things as possible. My son Evan has discovered he loves “science”. He loves trying experiments and when I call him a little scientist he gets a cute grin on his face. He has been excited for the opening of the science centre to learn and explore how the world works in a fun environment.

Our first stop was the Creative Kids Museum which is filled with tactile and sensory exhibits for children to let their creative juices flow. There are a number of stations with hands-on educational play. It is geared for children ages 8 and under. There is a large indoor climbing structure to allow energetic children to blow off some steam as well as an enclosed padded area with storybooks and toys geared for little crawlers.


Telus Spark creative kids gears

foam gears


My favorite station in the Creative Kids Museum was the piano. It was a hit with the kids. When you touched the keys not only did they create a pretty sound but bubbles started floating to the top of illuminated pipes to create a visual and auditory experience.


Telus Spark Creative kids piano

A bubbly musical piano


Telus Spark Creative Kids

Learning about gravity and inclines


Telus Spark

Learning how water flows



Dyson hand dryers – almost as much fun as the exhibits

The “Being Human” section of Telus Spark highlighted everything from how the brain reacts when you fall in love to how a baby is formed. Evan’s favorite stations had him putting a puzzle together using only a mirror (not looking at the puzzle) and creating a tactile, sensory maze. To create the maze we used wooden blocks with different textures on each side. The object of the exercise was to create a pathway with an identical texture. I created a path for him while he closed his eyes and with his eyes still closed he ran his fingers over the blocks to find the pattern that led him from one side of the board to the other. He loved it!



A sensory maze

At the station which measures your heart rate, Evan placed his hands on the sensors so he could see his heart rate displayed on the screen. I sneaked up behind him and shouted “boo”. He was able to see how his heart rate increased on the monitor. He was equally intrigued by how that happened and equally annoyed at me.

In the Earth and Sky exhibit, we created a digital snowflake, listened to our echoes in a canyon, created a storm using chains, buckets and blocks. We also listened to raindrops on drums, created strata and prevented animals from being harmed from a rubber rock avalanche.


Playing with rocks

In the Open Studio there is a seemingly endless amount of creative possibilities for everyone of all ages to craft and play. There is a dressmakers studio, a costume design shop, a centre for musical creation, and a venue to create a live video joke to name a few. One of the coolest stations allowed kids to tear apart old VCR’s, keyboards and more with hand tools to see what is inside. My 5 was not quite interested in this part yet although I can imagine this would be an older child’s dream come true.

The broken, trashed pieces are then transported to the “Make a Toy Out Of Junk” stations. My son loved crafting a robot-gun thingy out of the guts of old electronic widgets and gadgets. He was allowed to handle the glue gun, under my careful supervision, which was also a huge thrill for him.



Telus Spark, Calgary’s new science centre did not disappoint. Both Evan and I had a wonderfully educational and engaging visit. If you have an energetic and inquisitive child like mine, I highly recommend checking out what all the excitement is about.

The Telus Spark is now open. For details about location, admission and hours, visit the Telus Spark website.