Dynamic Earth underground renewal
By Christine Catt, Science North
In the rocks of Sudbury there are stories that resonate across 4.5 billion years of Earth history, including the unique geology and rich mining heritage of Northern Ontario. In Sudbury, at Dynamic Earth – Home of the Big Nickel, an iconic underground tour located seven storeys below the Earth’s surface plays a key role in introducing thousands of visitors annually to the world of mining and its rich history.
“Greater Sudbury has been producing ore for more than 100 years and has long been considered the nickel mining capital of the world,” says Julie Moskalyk, senior manager at Dynamic Earth. “For many people, a visit to our science centre offers the first opportunity to go underground, learn about the industry and explore careers in the mining sector through hands-on, fun and engaging science experiences.”
Dynamic Earth, which has been welcoming visitors since 2003, is in the process of an exciting multi-year exhibit renewal to enhance the visitor experience. The first phase, set to open in March 2015, includes a renewed underground experience that uses a variety of multimedia techniques to bring to life the stories of mining, innovation and the mining heritage of Sudbury. Historic film footage, along with the latest in lighting, audio, video and special effects techniques, will bring realism to the tour and create a fully interactive and immersive experience. Throughout the tour, visitors will feel as if they are walking in the footsteps of thousands of miners that have worked over the years in the Sudbury area. Visitors can follow the stories of generations of miners from early mining in the late 1800s through to modern day.
Above ground, new science exhibits in the Earth Gallery and the MacLeod Rock Gallery will add new content and highlight the industry’s commitment to constant innovation through interactive, hands-on exhibits and experiences while showcasing the cutting-edge science and technology products and services developed in Northern Ontario. Content will include mine safety, new mineral discoveries in Ontario, Canadian diamonds, Ontario fossils, as well as Sudbury’s re-greening and sustainable mining practices. Nickel City Stories, an engaging multimedia object theatre that uses a number of different effects to bring Sudbury’s mining history to life, is also being renewed and upgraded with new equipment and footage.
“The impending retirement of the baby boom generation will have a big impact on the mining industry across Canada. As such, our renewal goals are very focused on raising awareness about the career opportunities in earth sciences, mining and technology,” says Brenda Koziol, renewal project manager, senior scientist. “We want Dynamic Earth to engage visitors of all ages so that they are interested in exploring and pursuing the various educational and career opportunities available to them in these fields. We have an important role to play in the future of the mining industry and this multi-year renewal will ensure our exhibits accurately reflect the changes and advancements in this field.”
“Our unique approach to science delivery, and our commitment to making every visit engaging and interactive, ensures a positive and memorable experience,” says Moskalyk. “Visitors to Dynamic Earth, no matter their age, get to work and play with real mining equipment and technologies. Many of them leave here with a different perspective about mining, as well as a renewed appreciation for all that the industry has to offer.”
About Dynamic Earth
Dynamic Earth – Home of the Big Nickel — is a Science North attraction. Dynamic Earth is a popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across Ontario. Dynamic Earth’s attractions – an underground mine, high-definition theatre, galleries and exhibit hall – delight thousands of visitors each year. The science centre’s fun and friendly approach to Earth science education is led by bluecoats, scientists and science communicators who make interacting with the exhibits more informative and fun, in both English and French. Open during daytime hours, seasonally from March to October. Visit dynamicearth.ca.
A new outdoor science park and exploration trail system featuring engaging earth science and mining-themed exhibits opens in July 2015. Large-scale exhibits will include a crawl-through cave, musical instruments made of natural materials, and real mining equipment with interactive components.