Dynamic Earth is the smaller, less known science centre in Sudbury, Ontario. I didn’t even know it existed until I went to buy a membership to Science North. We were going to Sudbury for the Mother’s Day weekend with the plan of spending time at Science North, so we figured since it came with the membership, we would check out Dynamic Earth as well. We are so glad we did! Here are some reasons why you should check it out too!
Dynamic Earth – Why You Should Go
The Big Nickel
Dynamic Earth is home to The Big Nickel. This replica of the 1951 coin is the largest coin in the world! It was built in 1964 by a local named Ted Szilva. Viewing of the nickel is free to the public, who can walk right up to it (and even under it). The Big Nickel is almost 13,000 kilograms and about 64,607,747 times the size of a real Canadian nickel.
‘In The Footsteps of Sudbury’s Miners’ Underground Tour
This unique experience takes you down seven stories to follow the footsteps of Sudbury’s miners. Walk through a mine and cross the ages of mining technology. You will see how we have progressed through the years and have a chance to (safely) interact with some mining equipment. You can even buy a postcard in the gift shop and mail it directly from the Underground Postbox! Bring a jacket (it is chilly down there), some decent walking shoes and make sure you get your (free) tickets at the front desk when you enter, as the tours do ‘sell out’!
Outdoor Science Park
In Dynamic Earth’s own backyard is an outdoor science park. Kids can use a netted climbing structure, play a rock xylophone, operate a digger to excavate sand, pretend to drive an underground loader, slide down a large slide as molten slag straight into a slag pot, plus more I don’t have room to list here! Our kids loved this section. It is a great way to interact with an exhibit, as well as let them burn off some energy.
The Explora Mine is a three level play-replica of a working mine. Kids can see how a mine works, from start to finish, and take a hand at working the equipment. In this area they can even try panning in a water station.
I was too caught up playing with my kids to get a picture, but you can check it out online HERE
Earthquakes of Canada
At this station, your children will be able to use blocks and wooden replicas of houses and trees etc to build their own town. Then turn a crank and watch the effects of two shifting tectonic plates. They can also measure their jump on a seismometer, and use a digital globe to watch current seismic and volcanic activity all over the world.
Earth Gallery and Mineral Identification
At the Earth Gallery kids can learn to identify fossils, rocks and minerals. They can even bring in their own for the Rockhound Lab (see below). Test the strength of minerals using real tools, find out which samples are magnetic, or make them change colour under ultraviolet light!
At Dynamic Earth, kids can bring in minerals to trade for points. The more they know about their sample, the more points they get credited to their account. They can also earn points through a ‘quiz’ (answer some questions on a sheet of paper – answers are all found throughout the Earth Gallery). Once they have built up some points they can trade those points for items in the Lab, such as neat mineral samples and shells. The more points, the bigger the prize!
Dynamic Earth may be the smaller of Sudbury’s science centers, but it is big on fun and hands-on educational activities. The two science centres are so different, there is no way you could see one and feel like you’ve seen it all. Don’t miss out on this great experience on your next trip north!
For more information like cost and driving directions, visit their website here.
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