After working on the astronomy badge with our Guides, we decided to take them to the Cosmodôme in Laval. It is a museum devoted to space and space exploration. We participated in what they call a “Space Overview” program and our girls had a blast (pun absolutely intended)!
We started off our day on the metro with 15 of the 25 girls (Guides and Pathfinders) we took with us. The STM and STL have a great promotion whereby each paying adult can be accompanied by five free children under the age of 12. This greatly cut down on our costs because, otherwise, travelling round-trip through two different transit zones brings the price up to $12/person.
When we got to the Cosmodôme, we were greeted by our guide, Caroline, and met up with the rest of our girls who had arrived by car. Our first activity of the day was a virtual mission where we got to choose a theme (Mars, the moon or the solar system) and travel through space with a handy bracelet. We chose the moon (The Impossible Dream mission) and over the next hour, we visited six different rooms where we watched three movies, piloted and landed our lunar module, repaired the Hubble telescope and built the international space station.
When we came out, we had a quick lunch before heading back to the museum for a guided tour through the solar system — with huge models of the planets — and the galaxy.
Then began our astronaut training — both physical and mental. We got to see six simulators in action and each of our girls got to try one of them out. They were:
1. The multiaxis chair where girls sat amid three hoops that turn and simulate what would happen if you were in a capsule that began spinning out of control in space.
2. The 1/6 chair where girls got to “walk on the moon”.
3. The zero gravity wall: sort of like a rock climbing wall, but you float up and down.
4. The MMU, a chair with a jet pack.
5. The 5DF, a chair where you practice the kind of repairs you might do in space while trying to move a chair that works through action/reaction.
6. The EMSS where girls got to sit in the middle of a big “hamster wheel” and practice exercising like they would in space.
We also got to participate in two workshops, one on space suits where we learned all about why they are crucial for an astronaut’s survival and one about propulsion and how space shuttles and rockets work.
Before heading home on the metro or by car, we made a quick stop by the gift shop for some souvenirs.
The whole day apparently tired everyone out because we had lots of girls napping – with smiles on their faces — on the way home.
By Guest Blogger Lizzie Knowles. Lizzie is a Guider with the 85th Montreal Guides in Monklands District. Lizzie has a personal Guiding blog where she keeps track of her unit activities and fun ideas to share. Visit her blog – ‘Liz’s Guiding Year’. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.