Our Visit to the Cambridge Science Centre

Although it's a very busy week at Bridges, I decided to take the children to our neighbour Cambridge Science Centre to spend an hour and to do the Cosmic challenge. However one hour is definitely not enough to explore all the interesting activities provided by the centre. In addition, the cosmic challenge is actually a treasure hunt that took us around town to locate the clues, whilst getting fresh air and exercise with the little ones - perfect for the summer holidays!

Although it's a very busy week at Bridges, I decided to take the children to our neighbour Cambridge Science Centre to spend an hour and to do the Cosmic challenge. However one hour is definitely not enough to explore all the interesting activities provided by the centre. In addition, the cosmic challenge is actually a treasure hunt that took us around town to locate the clues, whilst getting fresh air and exercise with the little ones - perfect for the summer holidays!

I was fooled by the size of Cambridge Science centre. It only has one room but it can easily keep my kids and myself busy the whole afternoon. Due to rotating talks every day, you can easily visit consecutive days and see something new. On arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Lisa-Marie Cahill (who contacted us to ask if we would be one of the venues for the challenge), and although the centre was packed with visitors, Lisa-Marie Took the time to explain to us about the work behind this project.

There were lots of staff helping in the hands-on activities, so even a 3 year old can make and build a design and see it 'work' in the workshops with amazement. I was aiming at jotting down some notes of the day, but the impromptu science demonstrations and stimulating activities really kept me busy. The staff were brilliant and really knowledgeable. If you prefer to explore at your own speed, there are written explanations and questions about how science works in each interactive area.

Lots of activities require trial and error and constant testing. When my boy finished building the tracks to enable the ping-pong ball to go at the right speed and right angle on the vertical wall, he couldn't help but jump up and shout with joy. I think the satisfaction of success after numerous failures was great - what a lifelong lesson to learn!

Not long after, the children were called to attend the mini lecture and demonstration. All of the children, ranging from 3 to 13, quietly gathered in front of Lynne who gave an amazing and interesting talk about safety in space. My children kept raising their hands to volunteer to test all the little gadgets to help Lynne's explanation. A little girl and dad were chosen to try on layers of the space suit to find out why certain materials are good to protect the astronaut. The whole lecture was really interesting and well thought out.

One more thing amused me is that all the staff that day were female. And the educational and entertaining talks were also presented by friendly female scientists. How nice to to see female role models around when my daughter once told me "science is more a boy's subject". Now she is convinced she can be a scientist too!

We had been there for 2 hours before I remembered we had to find the clues in town to answer the questions in the cosmic challenge. Very reluctant to leave the never ending activities, my children and I managed to call in to all our local buddies who are participating in this summer project. It's really special to visit and say hello to the everyone in person.

As well as Bridges (we knew the clue already of course) the other participating partners include 

ADC Theatre - Cafe on the Round - Providence - Townsends Light Blue Cycle - Heffers - Tindalls - Let's Go Cambridge - When I was a Kid Bellina's - The Urban Shed - Jacks on Trinity

Although the questions in the treasure hunt are all done, it won't stop us from returning to visit the centre again. Apart from Safe in Space, there are more talks that we plan to attend in the next few weeks, including

Explore Your Universe: Voyage through Space,

Ultraviolet

Design a planet

To the core

Small Bodies of the Solar System

If you have children like me to entertain this summer, I hope you can spare some afternoons to give it a go and I know you will enjoy it as much as we did.

http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org/whats-on/cosmic-challenge/

Cambridge Science Centre - 18 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, CB5 8BQ