Waterloo Region Museum brings the circus to life with new exhibit
By Meredith Taylor
Special to the Post
Visitors at CIRCUS! Science Under the Big Top at the Waterloo Region Museum can get the chance to tight-rope walk and use a trapeze harness. The exhibit had its grand opening this past Saturday and will run for three months.
The exhibit features 20 interactive displays and is touted as a family-friendly event.
Some of the displays include a cannon ball that visitors can explore, a balance beam activity, a box that guests can try to squeeze themselves into like circus performers can and “Who Dung-it,” a display that allows guests to view replica animal dung and guess which animal “dung-it.”
James Jensen, curator of exhibits at the museum, says despite the exhibit being geared toward children, their parents will enjoy it too.
“The activities are designed to be appealing to kids but they’re also just as appealing to adults. One of the great things about museums is they’re still a safe place for grown-ups to be silly . . . The costumes all come in sizes that are big enough for adults,” said Jensen.
“The written content gives [the parents] a little bit more than just the hands-on stuff, as well as giving them things to talk about with their kids.”
There is a display of a woman swallowing a sword and an X-ray to show the sword going down her chest.
“It’s highly interactive, family-friendly and uses the idea of the circus, which is familiar to a lot of people, as a vehicle to talk about science. And also there’s a lot of history in the exhibit, too, and social history,” said Jensen. “It also has a lot of good educational content in terms of the science and history.”
The exhibit was produced by the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto about 10 years ago and has been travelling around North America since then. It is only temporary to the Waterloo Region Museum while a new, permanent exhibit, which is scheduled to be unveiled in 2014, is created.
The Waterloo Region Museum is located at 10 Huron Rd. in Kitchener. CIRCUS! Science Under the Big Top will be on display until May 5 and is free with regular admission. Entry into the Waterloo Region Museum is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $5 for children. Kids under four years old are free.
• • •
Meredith Taylor attends the
Conestoga College journalism program
and is an intern with the Kitchener Post.