My 4-year-old daughter is currently obsessed with Pluto.
She has a keen interest in space in general, but Pluto is getting the most attention right now – and is the subject of most of her space-related questions. How cold is Pluto? Why is it a dwarf planet and not a real planet anymore? Could people ever go to Pluto?
Needless to say, she is a huge fan of the SPACE Gallery at the TELUS World of Science Edmonton… and truth be told, I am too.
SPACE stands for Stars, Planets, Astronauts, Comets, Etc. The gallery, which opened in August 2018, is futuristic in appearance, with black walls and white-bordered, octagonal doors. It truly gives visitors a sense of being transported into the final frontier.
We always spend a fair bit of time in the Gallery’s grand entrance at the solar system wall. The planets, sized to scale, and all their special features are showcased beautifully, and I’ve read the information plaques so many times my young astronomy enthusiast can recite some of the facts. She also loves pointing out to me the ever-changing colours of the screen depicting the flares of a brightly coloured sun – and highlighting the tiny speck in the corner that represents the size of the Earth in comparison.
The entryway to the SPACE Gallery, while bright and beckoning (and incredibly captivating to US), may seem a tad, well, museum-like at first glance. It’s a book not to be judged by its cover. Beyond the planet wall lies an exciting, interactive adventure that kids of all ages will agree is out of this world! (pun intended)
The piece de resistance of the SPACE Gallery at the TELUS World of Science is an area that is innovative and inspiring. Visitors at any age will find intriguing displays and exhibits. Every time I visit, I’m able to read and learn a little bit more, but my studies are usually interrupted by one of my girls tugging my arm to get me to the next activity.
We build and fly rockets (will you have enough fuel and a light enough craft to break the Earth’s atmosphere?), discover black holes, command lunar rovers, plan precise rocket trajectory and even see gravity! It’s a room full of mental and physical challenges disguised as video games and toys – and the kids LOVE it!
Parents, bring your cameras – there are photo ops everywhere! Can your child lift the space rock? Shoot a rocket through the rings? Don’t forget to send Grandma a photo of your little astronaut on the surface of the moon!
Before you head out, grab a seat and catch a showing of Destination Moon in the central theatre. It’s a short retelling of the story of the Apollo moon missions that includes a theatre screen, retro tv screen and even the incredible floor screen. Prominently featured in the Destination Moon theatre is a chunk of moon rock, well-lit for an up close and personal look.
2019 was the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, just in case you need one more reason to launch an exploration of your own!