My primary school science teacher was an ordinary looking middle aged guy. I only remember one thing about the guy, and it was how he explained why the universe is infinite. He held up a box full of pens and said, “If the universe was not infinite, and had boundaries, like this box of pens, then that would mean there would be something outside those boundaries that was not the universe.”
Why do I mention this story, it is because the other week I went with some colleagues of mine to the Guangdong Science Center (广东科学中心). I wasn’t impressed with its size (although it is huge, being the biggest science currently on the planet), but more by the huge amount of interesting and astounding scientific facts on display.
Guangdong Science Center (Photo:Dayang.com)
The facts and interesting stuff to interact with and learn reminded me of the simple and yet astonishing universe fact that I learnt in primary school and has stayed with me longer than the Periodic table and Newton’s Three Great Laws that I was later supposed to memorize.
The Center is packed full of an amazing variety of exciting gadgets and gizmos waiting to help you understand the many fascinating aspects of the world of science to you and your family.
The first area we tried was the themed around space. Visitors can experience the feeling a extreme G-forces that astronauts are exposed to upon blast off, thanks to the use of a spinning frame machine.
The next apparatus took me to the surface of the moon. I lay inside the contraption while a screen in front of me showed me leap and bound slowly across the lunar surface with every movement of my body.
The second hall contained a machine for testing the reactions of the human eye, brain and the reflexes between the two. The user sits in front of a massive screen and sees the word for blue, red, yellow or green appear. The computer then tests to see how quick you are reacting to the change and hitting the correct corresponding button.
But my favorite thing in this room had to be the Stage of Shame. At what first appeared to be a stage, visitors are quite literally shocked to discover that upon standing up on the stage, a small electric current is sent pulsing through their body, making their hair stand on end, of course much to the amusement of the watching crowd!
And if that wasn’t enough in the way of toys, the children haven’t been left out. My son particularly loved the miniature car repair stand, including a scale model of a Volkswagen Beetle. Him and several other children had what seemed like hours of fun tinkering and tweeking with the car’s moving (but obviously safe) inner parts, putting the scaled down tools to good use.
Lastly, the children’s section offered something that all of us found very inspiring, a talking globe. The object of the exhibit designed in order to demonstrate the linguistic diversity of planet Earth by the user being able plug an ear piece into one of the many holes on the surface of the globe and hear how people there simply say ‘hello’.
What ever your interest, whether it be aeronautics, car mechanics or just doing funky things with electric currents and people’s hair, the Guangdong Science Center has it all, and more!
Open Tues-Sun (closed Mondays except during holiday weeks) 9:30-16:30
Tickets: Adult = RMB 60, students = RMB 40, children = RMB 30, OAPs = RMB 30
Getting there: The Center is located 20 km outside of Guangzhou city center. Take subway line 4 to Daxuecheng Beizhan 大学城北站 take exit A or B and take bus 387 which goes directly to the Center.
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