Kolkata Stories and Tips

Childhood rediscovered at Dynamotion

This section explains the basic fundamentals of physics – motion, collision, viscosity, acoustics, etc., in such a manner that it feels as though you are playing a game as you learn.

The hall is very big, and there are a lot of exhibits scattered here and there. Since it was not a holiday, the crowd was quite small. Some of the exhibits had crowds in front of them; we tried to avoid those and went for the ones that were fully available. Slowly, we found that the ones that were not crowded were slightly difficult to understand. Lack of proper explanation on the guide board could be one of the reasons. It so happened that once the people saw us operating the seemingly unpopular exhibits, they started coming towards us, waiting for a chance. This gave us the opportunity to see all the exhibits at a leisurely pace.

In the exhibit on acoustics, musical sounds would come from different directions and the child would have to choose the direction using a handle. Marks are given for the correct answer. The guide board explains how the ears, phase difference, etc., etc., lead to the mind getting a correct sense of direction.

On looking towards the roof, we found that there was a big, wrought-iron wire mesh kind of structure. Balls were thrown into it at regular intervals. The balls would pass through a predefined path within the structure and collide with many other things, leading to transformation of energy from motion to sound to mechanical, etc.

The exhibit showing the effects on the increase in the distance traversed when the friction is reduced, which was vacant presumably owing to the above-mentioned reason, became quite popular once we were able to make sense out of it. The same thing happened at the exhibit that demonstrated the principles of viscosity. We were feeling like celebrities owing to the meager knowledge of science that we had.

There were instruments to measure the speed of your throw when you throw a ball, then there was pigeon shooting and also an apparatus to demonstrate the production of electricity. I had never imagined that someone would take pains to make science so interesting and that the facility would be available at such a low cost.

There was a separate section only for the kids. There were interesting puzzles, hand-eye coordination games, models and charts, and electromagnets all kept on a big table with chairs around them. This section had a qualified guide inside to explain and play with the children.

The demonstrations exhibiting quicksand and earthquakes were not working. That was one small disappointment, but overall, it was quite good. I was wondering whether my life would have been different had I been lucky enough to have visited this kind of a museum during my childhood.

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