To Infinity And Beyond...
We’ve not yet seen the forthcoming ‘Lightyear’ film but, it says here, it “serves as an origin story for the fictional test pilot/astronaut character who the Buzz Lightyear toy/action figure featured in the main films was inspired by, and is presented as a blockbuster film within a film the characters in Toy Story would watch.” No – me neither. But, hopefully, it will all make sense when it comes to the big screen in June. What is clear to me, however, is the amount of thrills children are in for this summer when the Life Science Centre host a whole bunch of fun, space-themed stuff.
Among the highlights will be the chance to build your very own moon buggy in the Making Studios. This will be a hands-on activity where children will be tasked with constructing a moon buggy before then taking it for a test drive on the centre’s mock-up of the moon’s bumpy surface. And, naturally, when that task has been completed, children will be allowed to take their vehicle home with them.
How do astronauts poo in space? It’s a question that has vexed children (and, let’s face it, you) for decades and everyone will be able to find out with Space Zone Adventures. Here you will also be able to walk inside a replica of part of the International Space Station and enjoy stunning shows in the north’s biggest planetarium.
The live science show for the summer is: 3… 2… 1… Blast Off! But of course is it. Here you can join the centre’s Explainers as they journey through space. Can you help them return the spaceship safely back to Earth? (Spoilers: yes.)
In the Experiment Zone everyone will get the chance to launch their own rocket by mixing real chemicals together (crikey!) and then investigating which materials would work best for an astronaut’s visor. (Ages 7+)
Also on view will be Gaia (or planet Earth if you like) – a 7-metre wide, glowing replica of our shared home, which was created by British artist Luke Jerram. On the upper level of the science centre why not grab an easel and create your very own Earth-inspired masterpiece?
There will also be plenty of fun for under-7s including the Play Zone, discovery backpacks and three pop-up play stations.
If you’ve got a bored child or two on your hands this summer, then set course for the Life Science Centre. It’s not rocket science (but it kind of is).
Lightyear inspired activities run throughout the summer, Life Science Centre, Newcastle. Open daily, 10am-5pm. Family of 2 (max. 1 adult) £22.50; family of 3 (max. 2 adults) £31; family of 4 (max. 2 adults) £39; family of 5 (max. 2 adults) £47.50. Adults: £18; concessions (over 60s, students): £14.25; children (5-17 years): £9.50; children (aged 4 and under): free – but ticket must be booked online in advance; carer ticket (please bring proof): free – but ticket must be booked online in advance.life.org.uk