By Kendra Lovegrove
The staff of the Halifax Discovery Centre have had one of their busiest weeks in, well, a year.
With March break nearing its end, the Discovery Centre’s programs and day-camps kept staff on their toes.
The March break day camps were full weeks in advance, says Hayley Thomas, a media relation’s employee at the Centre.
“It was opened for registration in mid-January and was filled by mid-February.”
The March break period is the Centre’s busiest visitation of the year says Ruth Munro, a science educator at the Centre.
The new exhibit, Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins, has played a prominent role in the Discovery Centre’s March day camps.
“With this week’s particular theme, it’s called Earth Travellers,” says Steve Thurbide, the manager of science education at the Discovery Centre.
“So each day [the children] are learning about a different area of the world and going from continent to continent.”
Getting Kids Hands on with Science
“All of our day camps actually give kids the chance to get really hands on with science,” says Munro.
“And experience it in a slightly different way than you would at school.”
Craig Sears, an uncle and first time visitor, believes the Discovery Centre is an important part of the Halifax community.
“It’s important for my nephew to know about [science] and understand it as best he can,” says Sears.
“It gives the chance to break [science] down for kids to understand it at some level.”
The Centre wasn’t always this popular.
“The Discovery Centre basically started out of the back of a van, and has just grown since,” says Thurbide.
“Basically we receive an amount of government funding, [but] nowhere near [the amount] the national history museum or the maritime museum receives. A lot of our revenue and admissions come through different programs and also just visitors coming through the door, are very important to help sustain our operation.”
Listen to Ruth science educator at the Discovery Centre explain the March break day camp.
Science educators, such as Munro, take both pride and excitement from their work.
“The best part of working at the Centre for me [is] working with young people and being a part of them having this kind of ‘ah ha’ moment with science.
“Seeing people kind of get enthusiastic about it, or understand something for the first time is pretty rewarding.”