Power of nature the focus of TELUS Spark exhibit

Nature has been unleashed in the latest travelling exhibition to appear at the TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary.

Chicago’s Field Museum has teamed up with TELUS Spark to mount Nature Unleashed, which is an exhibition that is focused on four types of disasters: earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes.

The exhibit is currently showing at Spark, which is on St. Geroge’s Drive N.E. just north of the Calgary Zoo, and will be open until May 4.

Spark’s director of marketing and communications, Megan Douglas, believes the exhibit poses and answers the questions, “What does it mean to humans who actually live through these events? How does it affect us and why do we continue to live in crazy places like the ring of fire or where tsunamis are a common occurrence?”

The exhibit looks at disasters from a global perspective, not just locally.

It examines not only the human factor in these catastrophes but also the science behind them.

Alberta is such an interesting mix of weather phenomenon. -Megan Douglas

“It does touch on a combination of both science and what happens when you come face to face with a natural disaster and what it means to our planet,” Douglas said.

From volcanic eruptions to tornadoes, natural disasters have been shaping and changing our planet for years.

What has become challenging is discovering how they happen, trying to predict when they will happen and keeping people properly educated in the event a natural disaster occurs where they live.

“It’s a phenomenal learning experience,” Douglas said of the family-friendly exhibit.

“For little ones they can build their own volcano, test their seismic earthquake capabilities and all sorts of fun things alongside greatly detailed content and highly ambitious photography.”

Bringing Nature Unleashed to Calgary has been years in the making but has become a big hit with Calgarians and a local field trip destination since it opened Dec. 26.

“Alberta is such an interesting mix of weather phenomenon. We’re one of those unique environments that can go through a change of 20 degrees in 4 1/2 hours,” Douglas laughed.

Although the show was created by the Field Museum in Chicago, TELUS Spark managed to bring a local touch to the exhibition with the 2013 flooding.

The flood portion of the exhibit has been curated by the team at TELUS Spark and is a combination of artifacts from the events that happened last June.

These artifacts range from personal items carried away by the flood to 200-pound manhole covers that were blown off from the force of water underneath the Calgary streets.

“The content that we’ve augmented locally just to reflect on the flooding that happened in 2013 will be with us a little bit longer. It’s going to stay right through until the end of June,” Douglas explained.

“It’s a near crystal story telling side that were exploring alongside the flood events that occurred in Calgary, the probability of it happening again and what we can do to prepare ourselves.”

Admission to the exhibit is $19.95 for adults, and $12.95 for those age 12 and under. Spark is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

About Faith Flores 7 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Faith Flores worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.