Saturday, 27 June 2015

I Don't Understand: A Complete Recount of the Museum of Science and Industry

When I returned home from Wales last week, I was greeted with the news that one of my Acadia roommates, Renée, would be passing through for a few days on her way home from teaching in China. I was pretty excited about this visit, but like my previous visits from home, I was concerned with what to do while she was here... in terms of activities. I told her to have a think on it, and luckily she found herself sitting next to someone on the trip over who recommended we visit the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) - a spot I had yet to visit.

I learned that there was a free bus service from Piccadilly Station to the museum, so we opted for that, being as we were budget-conscious. Here's the thing... the maps aren't overly accurate. So, after some deliberation, we decided to jump on the bus that was minutes away from departing. To be fair, all three of the free bus services indicate that they pass by the museum. Fun Fact: The one we were on, was the only one that apparently does not. Eventually we got it sorted, Renée successfully passed the spontaneous round of "Where Are We?," and we made it to the museum.

The Metro Shuttle map...not how ALL three go by the Museum!
I will be honest, it was not at all what I was expecting. And, upon further reflecting, I'm still a little bit confused about it all. BUT - it was actually pretty fun...and not just because there was a significant presence of trains and poop facts. The part that seemed confusing was more so the mix of things. For example, the main building. It includes an air plane, some computer-y things (including a section where you can write love letters mad-libs style and send them via electronic mail to the people you love...except they don't actually send, apparently!), and then a whole section on textiles. Then, upstairs there's a bunch of science experiments. Look, as I go into this, you'll understand that this is a great way to spend an's just a really big hodge podge of things. Plus, there were lots of children running around...

Anyway... we spent a good deal of time in the textiles section. I was particularly excited to see many of the same fabrics I had debated over in Ghana. Renée enjoyed pretty much all of it. It was quite interesting though. It talked mildly about the colonial aspects of cotton, but there were also examples of alternative fabrics that were made here. There was even several homemade quilts throughout, most of which were made my local schools (no pictures). Some of them were quite well done, while a few were slightly terrifying!

Some of the fabrics
Renée hard at work!


After this we went upstairs into the Experiment! section. This had several puzzles and activities, that were all intended for children, but of which we found just as exciting. The only downside was that there were SO. MANY. CHILDREN*. On the up side, many of the activities turned out to produce quite the arm workout! Who says you can have fun, get fit AND learn all at the same time?!

A tornado replicator. Below is a video of it.

Our next stop was the Power Hall building. Here the focus was on a personal favourite of mine - trains. Now, I don't want to sound crude, but to put it bluntly, it was traingasmic! So many trains! However, one of the highlights for me happened to be near the beginning of our visit to this spot, when I looked at Renée and confessed that I thought I'd been there before. turns out I was thinking of a Coronation Street episode, where Roy goes as a chaperone and inevitably, one of the children (the one he's, of course, in charge of) goes missing, or does something bad...I can't remember! It was really cool though, to see the different types of trains.

Part of the Power Hall exterior
A shot of the outside of the Great Western Warehouse (aka the Main Building)
Yep! That's a jet engine!
 A video of the windmill within the Museum, and where I had my Coronation Street moment... Don't judge me!

So...I got a little excited here, and pushed Renée out of the way without
realizing it, only to be horrified once I did! Not sure it was worth it...
The innards of one of the trains!
Allllllllll aboard! Just reprising my first ever solo/acting gig,
as the 'Big Black Engine' from The Little Engine that Could.
When we reached our max amount of training viewing, we made our way to the Station Building, where two exhibits had caught my eye - one on waste and the other on underground Manchester. I will say, the Waste exhibit was way better than I had anticipated, with several interesting games to help visitors engage and learn about the many issues related to waste management. The section on underground Manchester, however, was a bit of a disappointment. It was pretty much a poor version of Dr. David F. Duke's Environmental History class on 'Waste.' But, there were plenty of poop facts, so I guess it worked out...

The Station Building, which is home to the Waste and Underground Manchester
exhibits, and the 1830 Warehouse Building, which is home to the Electricity Gallery.

 Renée was having a 'lightbulb moment'... love how she's also giving 
birth to the lady who was evidently not impressed to be volunteering that day!

The 'Wasted - The Trouble with Rubbish' exhibit.

I'll give you a hint...this is one of the entrances to Underground Manchester.
This is Teri the talking mute toilet! Like many of the interactive
aspects of the Underground Manchester exhibit, it didn't work. 
The underground... and it smelled kinda funny... and not in a good way!
The final stop of our museum visit (we opted not to go to the Electricity Gallery), was across the street, at the Air and Space Hall. Our main draw here was the simulator ride, that neither of us ended up going on! But, we walked around and were mostly fixed on the 'air' aspect rather than either the 'space' or 'road transport' sections. Actually...come to think of it, I can't actually recall any space-related things... Maybe that's what the simulator was?

The outside of the Air and Space Hall
I've been looking into getting a new car... but I think I'll pass on these ones. 

Try before you buy, that's what I always say... and I think this trial run was enough for me.
Or was it?!
Now THIS is my kind of ride!
Both the visit to MOSI and with Renée in general were really great. The museum itself is really interesting and interactive, and is pretty much fun for all ages. There are several parts though, that are not easily accessible to all visitors, however, so if you decide to visit, just be mindful of that.

-the Orange Canadian

*This prevented me from taking pictures of this section.

No comments:

Post a Comment