Southern Alberta might be a little too wintry right now for kids to have any fun in an outdoor sandbox. But Calgarians young and old will soon be stepping into a pretty cool indoor sandbox, and learning some important lessons while they’re at it.
Staff at the Spark Science Centre are now preparing a new exhibit called “Quantum Sandbox” in the facility’s digital immersion gallery.
“It takes you through five principles of quantum physics,” spark’s Kyle Corner said. “(It’s called) Quantum Sandbox because you can truly, just like in a sandbox, augment and manipulate the environment around here.”
The exhibit will allow visitors to explore quantum physics in a high-tech interactive setting.
“There are sensors. So as you move, depending on the principles you’re interacting with, you’ll see particles or waves of energy part around you,” Corner said, “(which will) move materials and particles and energy around from beneath your feet all the way up the walls scaled around you.”
Spark developed the exhibit based on work by designers from France and technicians from Montreal, also working with Indigenous leaders from around southern Alberta.
“We are fortunate to be gifted Indigenous ways of knowing quantum physics from the Blackfoot community and so we’ve incorporated those ways of knowing into the overall experience,” Corner said. “The Indigenous way of knowing is as important and relevant as the Western interpretation of science.”
The ‘Quantum Sandbox’ exhibit opens on March 1.
“At the end of the day, you don’t have to be a quantum physics expert or really even understand quantum physics,” Corner said. “Let us spark your intrigue, playing with particles and digital pixels.”