Last week, I was lucky enough to take my son on a couple of tours/visits that may interest some of you (with or without children) in the Vancouver BC Area. In particular we visited the Spark Museum (formerly the American Museum of Radio and Electricity) in Bellingham, WA and Triumf at the University of British Columbia.
This larger than you would think, eclectic museum, runs special events especially for youth. The website list is a little out of date, as all the announced dates have passed, but they will have special weekends that include building crystal radios, robotics, soldering workshops, etc. The highlight of the visit was the show with a large Tesla coil and a human in a Faraday cage. You can easily spend two hours there, poking around the hands-on displays and asking questions to the helpful staff.
Many people are aware of the new ring accelerator in Switzerland called CERN, but did you know that the largest cyclotron particle accelerator is in Vancouver? Triumf was originally developed in the 1970s and has been added on and changed many times since then. They offer an extensive and interesting tour of the facility for free. As of this posting, the cyclotron is down for service for another 2-3 weeks, so they have some things open they wouldn’t normally have open, though they can’t do special cyclotron tricks with paperclips and pennies without the magnets on.
The Tour takes two to three hours. Our tour last Friday was attended by 12 people, but they said that was a large group. The tour was conducted by one of the cylcotron operators and was very interesting even for our 10 year old.
In addition, if the above tweaks your interest, you may also be interested in the following as well:
- Mini Maker Faire Vancouver, which looks like it will be an annual event
- UBC Physics/Astronomy Summer camps for youth
I hope you enjoy the visits!