Friday, 24 October 2014

An outing: science and art in one day

The Observatory Science Centre

I had planned to take Charlie to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich to see a planetarium show this week, but it turned out to be closed for maintenance on the only day we could go. Instead, we decided to go to the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux - one of Charlie's favourite places. This would support our studies on space, as well as being a fun day out.

One of the best things about the Herstmonceux Science Centre is that every exhibit is interactive, so it's all about hands-on learning. We spent about two hours there, with Charlie running from one exhibit to another, keen to try everything out. As well as the exhibition called Earth and Beyond, which covered the Solar System and tied in with our current topic, there were also exhibitions on: forces (covering concepts of magnetism, air pressure and electromagnetic force); time; light and colour; and the arts of Art which featured a giant art machine.

Watching the effect of gravity in a black hole

A model of the planets in our solar system

Learning about the moon's phases
Identifying the constellations
Examining a real meteorite

Finding out about our planet
Building a house to withstand an earthquake
A plasma ball
Creating an artwork out of light, then emailing it home
Learning how to build a clock

Outside the centre, there is a Discovery Park which is is a playground of large-scale interactive exhibits designed to help you explore force, movement, genetics and sound. Charlie was so busy trying everything out that he didn't even notice the gloomy weather.

Building a dam

Climbing to the top of the DNA frame

Learning to balance on the Balance Board
The Archimedes Screw: turning the screw to raise the ball

Eventually, Charlie ran out of steam and admitted that he was tired and hungry. By then, it was drizzling with rain, so we drove to the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne for lunch. After reviving ourselves with a snack in the cafe, we spent some time exploring the new photography exhibition, 'Twixt Two Worlds', the exhibition 'Land and Sea' (depictions of sea and landscapes in film and photography) and the fabulous newly opened Ravilious Room. Although I suspect Charlie enjoyed riding down in the enormous lift just as much as any of the artwork on display.

By the time we left the gallery, in the late afternoon, we were tired and ready to return home. But it had been a wonderful, varied day out. 


Next week is half term and we won't be doing any structured learning, which gives me a welcome opportunity to catch my breath and spend a bit of time planning for the next term. There is also a Halloween get-together to plan and a friend's birthday party.

No comments:

Post a Comment