Monday, 23 November 2015

My Kids Learnt About Science and They Liked It!

This weekend we decided to take the kids for an impromptu trip to Sci-bono Discovery Centre in Newtown. I was here a few years ago for a work related event, so I knew this place is amazing (and far less geeky than it sounds) but was not sure if my kids were perhaps too young to appreciate it. We expected to be in and out in an hour but to our surprise found ourselves dragging the kids out four hours later!

For those of you that don't know, Sci-bono is a learning centre in central Johannesburg where children (and adults) can learn about maths science and technology through interactive models that are so much fun, that the little ones do not even realise that they are grasping complex scientific principles. Almost all the models have buttons to press or dials to turn, which the children loved. I think I absorbed a little bit of knowledge too!

On the ground floor is a huge Murray and Roberts construction site where little ones can don construction vests and hard hats and build their own life-sized structures using foam bricks and cement and real wheel-barrows, pulleys and other equipment. I could not get Noodle out of here and we were back for a second go before leaving. Noodle loved being able to operate a real crane (the task required moving a foam brick from one corner to another.

The gigantic Lego area just next to the construction zone was also a hit- as was expected.

The ground floor had all sorts of mining displays explaining how different minerals are mined and what they look like when they come out of the ground. Noodle loved this as she has had a strange fascination with mining lately.

Then there is a BMW display where you can see practically how all the components of a car work internally (eg. how the brakes move, how the engine works or what makes the wheels of the car move). There are interactive displays with knobs and buttons for the kids to fiddle with to learn all of this. 

The below shows how indicators work.

I know now how the cam belt, spark plugs and carburetor work.  There is even a real car with clear doors and bonnet so that you can see all the internal workings.

Upstairs the kids can learn all sorts of things, from how the body works, how sound is produced, all about optical illusions to various physics and chemistry principles. I think Noodle grasped some of the concepts, while Squish just enjoyed pressing lots of buttons and knobs and learning about cause and effect.They both loved the hot air balloon that they could press a button to inflate with hot air and shoot up three floors.

A robotic dinosaur display was definitely a hit. I also saw that there is a planetarium coming soon!  

There was a physics show that Squish seemed to enjoy the most. The show largely involved creating explosions of various sorts, creating a real rocket and even the science of ummm... farts.

If you are looking for something fun to do with the kids in Jozi, this should definitely be on your list. Noodle rates this spot as better than Gold Reef City and Bambanani, her two other favourite spots in Jozi.