Grade 7 KLO Middle School student Sasha Kolesar is turned and twisted in the new Gyro chair at the Okanagan Science Centre Wednesday.

Grade 7 KLO Middle School student Sasha Kolesar is turned and twisted in the new Gyro chair at the Okanagan Science Centre Wednesday.

Centre features new displays

There is a lot going on this December at the Okanagan Science Centre, thanks to exhibits donated from Calgary’s Science Centre.

There is a lot going on this December at the Okanagan Science Centre, and the local debut of new exhibits donated from Calgary’s Science Centre is just the beginning.

Staff and volunteers at the OSC have been hard at work to have three new exhibits ready in time for this year’s holiday season.  Visitors can expect to see Frozen Shadows, Mindball, and the Gyro Chair in operation during the winter break.

“It’s a wonderful way to increase the explorative value of our visitor experiences, especially around the holidays,” said Sandi Dixon, executive director at the centre.

“The new exhibits are fun, engaging, and each one profiles a different field of science.”

Frozen Shadows uses electric strobe lighting and photosensitive plates to create shadows of visitors as they strike a pose. For added excitement, participants can try to create airborne shadows, and experiment with the image quality as they vary their distance from the screen.

Mindball is a spectacular exhibit in which two players control a physical ball using just their brainwaves. The brainwaves are detected by sensors attached to headbands worn by the players. The player who can “push” the ball into his or her opponent’s goal wins.

Visitors may have seen the Gyro Chair used as a prop during the Haunted House, and soon it will be ready for action. This exhibit uses a large-scale gyroscope to give participants a wild ride while demonstrating the conservation of angular momentum. The chair rotates to compensate for the change in momentum, sending visitors whirling and twirling every which way.

The OSC’s eight holiday ‘mix-and-match’ day camps, running from Dec. 21 to 30, were inspired by the unveiling of these new exhibits. In the Energy DeLIGHT camp, on Dec. 28, campers will experiment with the Frozen Shadows exhibit, in addition to building a solar car and exploring the properties of UV sensitive beads.

Along with ‘magic’ chemistry experiments, the power of Mindball will be put to the test in the Magic Science camp on Friday, Dec. 23, and all Toy Science campers will have a chance to spin around in the Gyro Chair on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

For members who have an interest in the night sky, the OSC will be holding a series of planetarium shows over the holidays.

Check the website, www.okscience.ca, for details.