Science North

Ontario’s favourite science centre

Opened in the 80s after two decades of planning, Science North is bringing essential science and technology education to North America.

Ashley Larose, Senior Manager, International Sales at Science North, describes the foundation of the Ontario science centre as the realisation of “a community dream” that had been held for more than two decades. Originally conceived as a mining museum in the mid-1950s, by the 70s the emphasis had changed towards creating a centre for science rather than just geology or mining technology.

Read more about the Ice Age exhibition here: http://sciencenorth.ca/promos/iceage/

To bring Science North into existence, a dedicated group of individuals from within both science and industry worked together to raise support, and the first blast to begin excavation of rock at Science North took place in the summer of 1981. Three years later, in 1984, the centre was officially opened, and Science North became an Agency of the Ontario Ministry of Culture at the start of 1986.

The centre acts as an essential educational resource for both children and adults, offering an IMAX theatre, a digital planetarium and a butterfly gallery, amongst other features.

These days it’s a hugely popular tourist attraction in Northern Ontario, and the centre acts as an essential educational resource for both children and adults, offering an IMAX theatre, a digital planetarium and a butterfly gallery, amongst other features.

“Our present vision is to be the leader among science centres in providing inspirational, educational and entertaining science experiences; and our purpose is to inspire people of all ages to be engaged with the science in the world around them,” elaborates Larose. “Our purpose articulates why we come to work everyday. We work towards the longer-term vision, but we come to work to inspire our visitors when they are onsite, online or experience our programmes, shows and exhibits elsewhere,” she adds.

Read more about Science North’s Butterfly Gallery here: http://sciencenorth.ca/science-north/exhibits/details/index.aspx?id=2834&category=biology&floor=2

Taking a friendly approach to science education, Larose believes that the centre’s attraction lies in the unique approach it takes to learning. Based in Sudbury, in Ontario, the area’s geographic isolation meant the centre would have to embrace a ‘unique philosophy’ in order to be a success, and so rather than purchasing push-button exhibits that would focus only on cause and effect, the founders decided instead to create new exhibitions. These would take ordinary people through active processes to understand the relationship between science, technology and their own everyday lives.

Our present vision is to be the leader among science centres in providing inspirational, educational and entertaining science experiences; and our purpose is to inspire people of all ages to be engaged with the science in the world around them.

In 1996, Science North created a specialised unit to sell the award-winning exhibitions and multimedia theatres that were being created by its team of skilled staff, and has since become the largest Canadian exporter of travelling shows, with exhibitions toured throughout North America, as well as overseas, often for 5-7 years at at time. “With each travelling exhibit we keep all of our audiences in mind, whether it be down the hall or across the globe,” concludes Larose.

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» Read our Q&A with Ashley Larose, Senior Manager of International Sales at Science North here

www.sciencenorth.ca