Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Break Adventure

It's been a very busy winter at work. In addition to all the usual things going on (January -June are my busiest time of year), we're also launching new software next week, and  as one of the primary users on campus I've been in training meetings and helping with testing and such. It's been an interesting experience for the most part but it's meant a lot of overtime. But Emily and I pushed hard and managed to get everything done we needed to and so we both get to spend some time with our kids this spring break.

Yesterday David, Elisabeth and I caught the sky train into Vancouver.

 The plan was to get off at Stadium and walk up to China Town. Visit the Dr. Sun Yet Gardens, tour China Town and then mosey on down to one of the water taxi stations. I wanted to visit Olympic Village and then stop at Granville Island before Sky Training home.

 But we woke up to rain, and when Lizzie jumped on my bed in the morning she suggested Science World. So I thought, why not? And off we went.  As it happened, the feature exhibit for Spring Break is Animation. Super cool!

 Our first stop was the section on Recycling and sustainability. We're going to set up a few of these hamster wheels and have the kids generate electricity for us.

 These things work well when you want to yell at your kids for taking too long showers or wasting things. Then you can remind them of the displays they looked at and pull out the guilt card. It's always nice to be backed up by science and nonfamilial source.

 I thought this was funny; I've never seen a Do Not Enter sign on a man hole cover before.

 These flowers are going to be gorgeous in a few days. I wish I would be around to see them.

 Learning more about water, and how much we North Americans waste.

 And this is a city on the move. You could make different parts of it move (Lizzie is making the buses go in this picture) and get everything moving and turning. It was pretty neat.

Then we went inside and found the theatre where an artist was talking about bringing your animations alive. It was a brilliant lesson, he was really good with all the kids and getting them engaged and involved in his talk.

 First he talked about simple shapes and using them to create almost anything. We took the basic outline of the Science Centre and made it into various different cartoon images. Then he got all the boys yukking (as below:)

 When he showed us how to bring boogers to life. EWWWWW

 Next it was into the Eureka centre which is always a lot of fun. Here the kids learned about pulleys and lifting your body weight.

 And then into the feature gallery which was full of stations on animation. Lots of hands on things to do.

 David has been talking about being an artist and working in animation for years, so it was cool to watch a few videos on people who have made it as animators.

 And we made our own characters

 Then they had this stop motion station where you could make your own stop motion animation. This station was so cool that I could have played with it all day. I'll upload our videos later.

 At this station you changed the position of the balls on the posts, then spun the wheel and watched the mirrors reflect a movie of the ball moving. Super cool. They also learned about depth and shape and how to give the illusion of motion by changing the shape of an object to make it stretch, flatten and give it perspective.

 Probably the best display we've seen here - even more fun than the lego one we saw last year.

 Then it was into the natural history exhibit.

 I think I take this picture every time we come.

 Figuring out science clues about some of the artifacts we were looking at.

 I love that my kids always want to stop and read everything and don't just run through museums and galleries without stopping to LOOK at things.

 David wanted bear paws.

 Finally we went into the body works section where they had some creepy body parts to look at. FYI a gall bladder is not pretty :P

 And then we went outside and looked at some of the stuff they have set up outside the centre. This one was really cool. Water ways with different obstacles to divert and channel the flow.

 It's too bad about the rain, but it was still beautiful.

As opposed to say, the Toronto Science Centre which is set in a very pretty forest, but doesn't quite top our setting :)

 And then I dragged the kids over to Olympic Village because I was craving a coffee from Urban Fare.
Along the way I took pictures of BC Place (and the arena beside it. What are we calling it these days? I can't keep up).
 These birds are my favorite. I want some of these for my driveway.

 Don't the orange blocks on that building look like elevators?

 Andrew, this picture is for you. Can you spot Microsoft?