Montreal Science Centre Review - The Intrepid

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Montreal Science Centre Review

Education and fun are difficult to balance. While the MSC (Montreal Science Centre) is a lot of fun, but there is not much to learn. Education takes a back seat to interactive, but highly enjoyable, exhibits. The MSC is not alone. Over the past, twenty to thirty years there has been a move to inject more fun into museums and science centres. Well-crafted exhibits can be both enjoyable and intellectually stimulating, but this is a hard balance to obtain. Too many signs and things to read can make exhibits dull for adults and children alike, inhibiting potential learning and fun. However, interactive exhibits can often feel more like play time than an actual learning experience.

Parents are consistently looking for ways to stimulate their child’s intellectual development. Which of course explains the popularity of stores for “gifted children” that charge exorbitant rates for the same toys that can be bought elsewhere. Science centres and other similar attractions often reek of the same marketing techniques. On it’s website, the MSC states that they want to stimulate curiosity, arouse passion for knowledge, and help to “develop a taste for careers in science.” If you want your child to become a scientist, the MSC can lead the way.

While the MSC is unlikely to transform a kid into a future Einstein, it is a fun experience that among other things allows patrons to test the power of their mind, experience life inside a bubble, and design a newscast. Unfortunately, some of the newer exhibits, including the temporary Aliens Exhibit are neither fun nor educational and seem more like a showcase for interactive projection technology. However, the experience is ultimately worth the $12 admission. Although I have been to only a few science centres, the MSC stands out as one of the most enjoyable.