We are currently in Sheffield for a few days, staying with Grandma and Grandad (my parents). We have played in the snow (which is much deeper than at home!) and visited my Nana (my mum’s mum, bringing 4 generations together) and then today we went to Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.
Opened in 2001, Magna is located in an old steel mill. It is split into 6 pavilions; Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Aqua-Tek and Sci-Tek. Aqua-Tek and Sci-Tek are outdoor zones and only open March to October so we didn’t see these today.
We started in the Fire Pavilion. We actually had some drama getting there because you have to walk through the relics of the original foundry to reach the pavilions and the kids were all quite scared of how dark it was! Add to that the noise coming from “The Big Melt”, a pyrotechnic and audio display of the steel making process, and it made for quite a authentic experience!
So we reached “Fire” and already had 3 children who weren’t sure they wanted to stay! We started off watching an ice crystal melt, did some metal casting and tried a heat conduction experiment. Thomas, at least, started to enjoy himself! We watched an electric arc in action, pressed lots of buttons and watched the Fire Tornado!
Next we moved on to “Air”. As you step out of the lift you see the Cloud Rings display. This was a great introduction to this pavilion and everyone enjoyed having a go. Finally, Jasmine and Ben thought it would be OK to stay!
After lunch we headed for “Earth.” Everyone was looking forward to this because they have life-size JCBs to control! After several minutes of diggers, the kids found the Quarry experience and spent a long time blasting, collecting “rocks” in wheelbarrows and grading them on the Rock Sorter.
Lastly, we went into the “Water” pavilion. Here we found out our weight in water, navigated boats through Canal Locks, made waves and squirted water canons. Oh, and got very, very wet!