The newest gallery to open at Telus World of Science Edmonton encourages kids to bring in natural discoveries to exchange for cool rewards.
Starting Saturday, you can collect items like rocks and plants to have staff at the new Nature Exchange inspect the items.
The more effort put in to each discovery, like photos, notes or research about the finding, the more points will be awarded.
“We are asking people to go out and explore nature on their own time,” staff scientist Marie McConnell said.
The exhibit encourages guests to be curious and “to bring the things they find in nature back to us to trade them for points,” McConnell said. They can use those points to then go shopping through the gallery.
A huge selection of items are available for kids to exchange for.
“There’s all sorts of natural items in the gallery. Shells, rocks and minerals, plant specimens, and even insects.”
Trading Post staff encourage responsible collecting within natural environments. They will not accept animals (dead or alive), or things like bird nests, antlers, or eggs.
The message to kids: never disturb the natural habitat of species relying on those items.
“The more you learn about nature, the more we can build stewards of nature,” McConnell said. “Building that stewardship and awareness of nature is what’s important to us.”
Staff also warn against collecting fossils or other items from national or provincial parks, but encourage kids to take photos, make drawings and take field notes when they notice natural phenomenon in those protected areas.
These types of findings can garner as many or more points than a real specimen.