Le Centre des Sciences de Montréal, as it’s formally known, is one of the premier attractions in a city already filled with so many. Located along the length of King Edward Pier in Old Montreal, it’s also one of the newer sights. Chock full of the latest computer and video technology, along with hundreds of interactive science-related exhibits, the iSci is a wonder.
That wonder is not merely to behold, but to operate as well. Visitors can enjoy dozens of experiments that demonstrate the principles of electricity and magnetism. Or, they can use one of the many computers to explore the leading edge technology that may make its way into homes in the near future.
The museum has two main exhibition areas – Eureka and Technocity.
Within them, young and old alike can explore the amazing intricacies of the human body. Life-sized displays of muscle clad skeletons show how the parts combine and function to allow for the amazing range of human movement. Displays and videos provide information about how medicine and technology are advancing to not only cure but improve on the basic model.
Kids and grown-ups both will enjoy all the fascinating puzzles and games available. Brain teasers, optical illusions and intricate geometric toys will give even the brainiest a real run for their gray matter. Try to outsmart a chess program or figure out why one ball looks larger than another of exactly the same size. Try to beat the clock by unlocking a group of rings that appear to have no openings.
The world of engineering is given wide support with displays on how buildings stand and, sometimes, why they fall. Bridges longer than some cities and higher than some skyscrapers are detailed, explaining how they function.
Information Studio provides numerous exhibits on how the world of computers is changing life and the growth of knowledge. Super-fast computers that use Quantum Mechanics are not far from reality. See a live demonstration of how they work. Matter Works showcases some of the most impressive technological achievements to date… and gives some clues about what’s coming up in the future.
The science center also includes one of the biggest IMAX theaters in North America. With its seven-story screen and state-of-the-art sound system, viewers will get a thrill ride through environments familiar and new. Seating almost 400, the audience can vote on how the story evolves by selecting different scenarios.
With more than 600,000 square feet of display space in a space-age glass and steel building, the iSci is a work of science and art all its own. But it also houses a fine family restaurant, the Porto Fiorentino, that seats 1,000. Have a good meal and look out over the harbor while you enjoy cooking demonstrations, piano concerts and other events held there.
Located at the corner of de la Commune and St. Laurent in Old Montreal, Le Centre des Sciences is easy to reach via the Metro (Montreal’s subway). Just exit at Champ-de-Mars. For details, see: www.montrealsciencecentre.com