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Visit From Science North

We recently had the pleasure of hosting visitors from Science North, an interactive science museum in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and one of the area’s biggest tourist attractions. We are in the middle of building several exhibits for the center: Lissajous, Building with Light, Overhead Fans and Linkages & Pulleys.

Here’s a little bit of information about the exhibits you see in the following images:

Building with Light is a classic Creative Machines exhibit. In Building with Light, visitors can work at one of several stations building with sanded acrylic TETRIS pieces, creating shapes and designs on top of a kaleidoscopic color-changing surface. Users use touch-points to control colored LEDs as entire rows, columns, or individual points. There are eight rows of LED strips with sixteen individually programmable LEDs each. Light from the LEDs illuminate the acrylic building pieces and allow the guest to transmit light from block to block giving them the feeling that they are actually building with color.

In Lissajous, visitors will play a note on the keyboard and see a laser output projected in front of them; which may be a wiggle, a line, or a more complex shape. Interpretive panels will describe the shapes they are seeing. The sounds they create vibrate a laser and trace patterns onto a screen. Certain tone ratios can create known figures called Lissajous figures.

With Overhead Fans, visitors will walk underneath the exhibit and activate a series of fans that will lift a ball or a piece of fabric in the air. Multiple guests can work together to complete challenges such as move the ball around in a circle. What makes this exhibit particularly fun is that there will be no signage directing users- it’s an entirely discovery-based activity!

Linkages & Pulleys has not entered fabrication just yet, but this exhibit is composed of a series of peg walls, boxes, and tables. Visitors are able to use construction sets including pulleys, stretchy bands, struts, bars, joining plates, pins, and straps to construct simple or complex structures. On the main peg-wall, there are four mechanisms: windshield wiper, cam, piston, and Geneva drive.

Here are some photos of Darla Stoddart and Nancy Martin of Science North, along with Greg Belew from Hands On! Studio testing out the exhibits.


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