SparkLab – 5 reasons to visit these school holidays!

By Rebekah Collins, SparkLab Learning Manager, Queensland Museum.

SparkLab is a space for curious young minds to explore and unleash the scientist within, and as school holidays commence in Queensland, now is the perfect time to discover why so many memories are made in SparkLab!

Budding scientists visiting the space these school holidays will find unique and interactive displays where they’re encouraged to follow their curiosity, question, investigate and wonder about the world around them with 40 interactive exhibits ideal for 6 – 13-year-olds. These are some of our favourite reasons to visit SparkLab with family and friends these holidays.

Be a scientist at the Science Bar

Direct the investigation at the Science Bar as you suggest ideas for testing, get hands-on and share your observations. With nine different programs on offer, the Science Bar is a place where curious questions are welcome and often followed with ‘let’s test it out’. At the Science Bar you might investigate whether all things tumble in the same way when moving down a slope, how we can use light and colour to change how something looks or even set up an experiment that happens during your visit. Check out the daily program near the Science Bar.

Have a jam session in the Sound studio

You don’t need to be a musician to slap out a tune in the Sound studio. Grab a rubber thong and slap the end of the coloured tubes on this unusual musical instrument. This causes the air inside the tubes to vibrate and make a sound. Test out the different length tubes to make different sounds and string them all together to make a song. With someone playing the Thong-o-phone and another tapping a beat on the drums, this is a jam session worthy of recording.

Track animal migration on Science on a sphere

Ever wondered how far a Great White Shark might travel through the ocean or considered how far some birds might migrate across seasons? Explore animal migration on Science on a sphere where data from animal tracking devices help us better understand the movement of some animals across the Earth.  With over 500 visual datasets, Science on a sphere can take you beyond our animal world and enable you to investigate extreme weather, ocean currents and even journey out into our solar system. Use the touchscreen kiosk or join the SparkLab Learning Officers for programs across the day.

Create coloured shadows

Shadows in SparkLab can be all the colours of the rainbow. Grab your friends to create a moving and colourful scene as you block and mix the primary colours of light to create a wall of coloured shadows. How can you move your body to make new colours and shapes?

Work together to build a giant Gravity run

Ready, set, drop! Use magnetic pipes, tubes, bells and balls, to build the longest ball run you can in SparkLab. Connect all your parts together and test it out by dropping the ball in the highest tube. Will your ball have enough energy to make it through the course and what might you need to change in your design to ensure the ball runs smooth? Once you have a successful design, set yourself the challenge to redesign your course so that the ball takes exactly 10 seconds from start to finish. Get your phone stopwatch ready!

Book your ticket to SparkLab today and get ready to be a scientist! Be sure to share your experience with us on social media by tagging #SparkLabQM and @qldmuseum.

Academic Partner University of Queensland.