Science North brings Climate Quest to Fort Frances

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

Science North’s traveling exhibit on climate change has arrived in Fort Frances. The interactive exhibit for all ages will be showing on the first floor of the Fort Frances Museum until Sept. 10.

Funded by the Government of Canada and created in a collaboration between Science North and the Ontario Science Centre, the exhibit will be traveling across Canada for up to three years, according to Science Communicator Kennedy Williamson.

“It’s traveling across Canada in a 26 foot box truck for the next hopefully three and a half years,” Williamson said. “It opened up in Niagara in June and this is our fourth stop.”

In a first for Science North, communicators in their trademark blue lab coats are traveling with an exhibit. Williamson and another science communicator are part of the mobile team. Williamson says the exhibit serves to tell people about some causes of climate change while also showing them how they can do their part to combat it.

“It talks a little bit about the underlying causes of climate change, how we’re noticing that changes are happening,” she said. “Then it works its way on to what we can do as individuals to help. Small steps and little things you can do in your everyday life that don’t take a lot of effort or change but really in the grand scheme of things make a huge difference.”

The exhibit features multiple different interactive stations, some of which include a scale that shows you how many new trees it takes to offset your emissions from a new purchase, a model home that shows you ways to make your home more climate friendly, a demonstration of how the sun heats the earth and how the atmosphere affects it. There is also a live worm farm.

Williamson touched on the concepts that some of these exhibits want to communicate.

“It introduces the concepts of heat trapping gasses or greenhouse gasses, and kind of teaches a bit about the changes that we’re seeing across Canada,” She said. “So changes in temperature, rainfall, weather patterns, and things like that. Then it talks about biodiversity changes and how we eat and how that affects climate. One of the exhibits touches on comparing your carbon dioxide emissions to the amount of trees you need to offset them. That’s been really cool because it’s really impactful to see how much a new smartphone or a new laptop generates as far as greenhouse gasses go and how many trees you really need.”

Williamson says for her she hopes people come away with the idea that they can play a role in protecting the earth and maintaining a good climate.

“I think the biggest takeaway is that even as an individual you play a big, big role in this work to change the world,” Williamson said. “we don’t like to think about fighting climate change because climate isn’t an enemy that we’re trying to conquer. It’s something that we need to work with, climate is all around us. It’s a big part of our lives. So we want to change our habits and take small steps to make big change.”