Dream, create and experience the world of Imaginate where innovation is essential. Bring your ideas to life; test them out and build on them further, this exhibit lets your imagination take flight.
Innovation often occurs when a big dream or passion grips you and must be pursued. The history of aerodynamics is filled with those who dreamed big and often relentlessly followed those dreams. Exhibits with this theme highlight how ideas grow and how intense motivation can be a driving force for innovation.
Making an ordinary paper airplane can be an engaging experience. Try out different airplane designs. Which one flies further, more accurately? Build, test, observe and retool as many times as you need to perfect your design.
What sparks curiosity? What spurs you on to ask more? Place an object in a 12 foot vertical tube and watch it fly. Adjust the airflow in these tubes to control your object’s ascent, descent and action within the tubes.
So You Think You Can Fly
As a child did you ever just want to fly? Put on a pair of wings, flap your arms and compare your flapping rate to different birds. Step on our scale and see what your wingspan would need to be for you to be able to fly.
Science is a process of questioning. Unexpected answers are not always recognized for their value. Keen observation and fresh eyes can often allow people to see beyond the obvious.
What happens when a new pair of eyes looks at the same material? See how a fluid filled with tiny magnetic particles developed by NASA became a component of the auto and music industries. What would you do with this fluid?
In this playful experience, just crossing the floor triggers a reaction wherever you walk. What are those various relations? Where are the trigger points? Observe carefully and have fun testing and re-testing to find out!
Have you ever looked at something ordinary and thought of a way to make it extraordinary? Test out various properties of materials in this materials playground and see how nature has directly inspired many inventions.
Colleagues or competitors can spur us to achieve more than we could on our own. Peer interaction and pressure can influence us to go in directions that we might otherwise ignore. This can have an impact on our ability to be innovative.
Is it just noise or is it 'music'? In this large room of sound and lights, you can create a musical masterpiece involving rhythm, light, pattern and emotion. Collaboration with others lets you work with each other's sounds.
Experiences change when they are shared with others. Place your hands on a sensor bar that reads your heart rate. See how your heartbeat affects the behaviour of the large sculpture right before your eyes. Watch what happens as more people join in the experience.
Do you have to work directly with someone for it to be called collaboration? In this experience, one face has many different contributors. Take a picture of your own face and choose from a fascinating video collection of other people's features to create a bizarre new image.
Innovation is neither quick nor easy. Nothing beats experience and perseverance when it comes to creating something. To be innovative, you need opportunities to create, test, tweak, re-test and even start over. In this series of experiences, patience and observation are key in investigating materials and their properties.
Gear Tree/Kinetic Sculptures
How many different ways can you build on a single idea? Closer examination of gears and how they move objects at different speeds and in different directions will allow visitors to see how simple inventions can lead to innovative outcomes.
Create Something New
What is it that makes someone spend hours working on something? Create a traditional item using non-traditional materials and discover the many possibilities of a space that is part tinkerer's workshop and part artist's studio.
Sometimes innovation requires patience and adaptation. In this experience, you can communicate ideas, stories and emotions by creating stop-motion animation videos. Respond to novel challenges by using unexpected materials and making minor changes along the way.
Many good innovations come from an understanding of the properties of the materials being used. By experimenting with the surface properties of a range of materials, you can discover which combinations yield the fastest or slowest run.
Stories of Innovators
Perseverance and tenacity can be critical in reaching a breakthrough. Sometimes it is luck, a mistake or the influence of others. Throughout the hall you will experience the stories of innovators and learn the pathway to innovation that they took. Was their success simply luck or a long road filled with many small steps forward?
Whether we dwell in the frigid Arctic or the dense rain forest, we rely on innovative processes and the making of innovative products to survive in our various environments. Our common drive for food, shelter and water throughout the world demonstrate the diversity in innovation.
Innovation Around the World
Explore creative problem-solving solutions from across the globe. Learn about low-tech, grassroots innovations that were driven by the basic human needs of food, water, shelter, energy and health. Take a Q Drum for a spin and pull a south-pointing cart, among other innovative devices.
Question of the Day
Your opinion and those of others can sometimes influence the direction that an idea takes. This interactive exhibit asks visitors to express their opinions by answering a variety of playful questions. How do your answers compare with others? Check the tabulated results at the back of the exhibit to see where you fit in.
Imaginate was developed by the Ontario Science Centre. Creative was adapted from the Lawrence Hall of Science.
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.