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01 October 201411:23AMthings

Nothing makes you appreciate a fantastic day like only experiencing the last few moments of it because you've been inside at work all day.

Don't get me wrong, my job is awesome, but it's also undeniably... well, on the converted top floor of a shopping mall. Wistful stares out the balcony windows during briefings on days like today are not at all uncommon.

So here's my proposal: why not an outdoor science centre?

Obviously you can't install a Tesla coil in a park (or could you?), but there's no reason that a about half of the stuff on the floor at work couldn't be just put straight outside, and probably even more of it with a little weather-hardening.

You could do a pretty mean giant Newton's Cradle. A jumbo size version of Air Mail would be awesome. We've got this whole section of maths problems for solving, stuff like the Towers of Hanoi and the Dog/cat/bird puzzle which could be done - again jumbo large - using pretty standard playground construction techniques. Maybe a harmonograph that you load up with sand and watch it pour out on the ground?

It opens up loads of possibilities you can't do inside too. You could do a whole thing on fluid dynamics with rainwater, and a thing on efficiency of solar panels - maybe with ruggedised weatherproofed components to plug 'em into to compare energy usage. And bring back that thing with the plants growing under different coloured filters to demonstrate how chlorophyll works, only you can just stick some biggish filters over regular plants in the ground. And obviously, as you can probably see, the scale of everything can be much bigger.

The only things you couldn't really do is anything with consumables, like paper planes now, and anything requiring sort of precision electronics.

You wouldn't even have to lose the demonstration stage. Imagine the kind of explosions you could do without having to isolate the fire alarms...

Anyway, just food for thought.

The contents of this post, obviously I'd hope, don't reflect the official opinions of Scitech in any way.

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