The Gravity Discovery Centre (GDC) is a hands-on science education centre situated near Gingin, about an hour’s drive north of Perth. The Gravity Discovery Centre has something for everyone, from astronomy to Astrophysics and indigenous culture to biodiversity. There is always something new to learn at the GDC.
The Gravity Discovery Centre has many parts to it. There are various indoor as well as outdoor things to explore and discover. The Discovery Gallery is the main exhibition space and is packed full of hands-on exhibits. It was a lot of fun for all of us and educational at the same time. There are plenty of info plaques that you can read as you go, and explain for your child’s level of understanding.
Some of the displays we enjoyed were …
Giant Slinky – Make it move to create transverse or longitudinal waves:
The Egg of Columbus – Press the button and watch the egg spin until it stands up straight:
Planet Scales – Test what you would weigh if you stood on other planets in our Solar System:
Smoke Cannon – Bang the base to create smoke rings. Lots of laughs with this one although we had to stop the kids after a while as the smoke was filling the hall:
Space Capsule – Climb in and make it spin to test out GForces (don’t worry it doesn’t get too fast for the kids but is still fun):
Sound waves – Make noises into small tunnels that lead outside to a bigger tunnel, and listen as the sound waves return to you:
Bernoulli Ball – Demonstrating levitation in an air column:
Mirrors – lots of giggles from checking out the distortions created by different curved mirrors:
There is a great toddler play area to entertain little ones if they lose interest in the main hall.
The Biodiversity Gallery consists of multiple microscope stations with interesting specimens. We enjoyed investigating spiders, moths and other creatures under the microscopes.
The is a simulation of a black hole on the outside walkway on the second floor. Lucky for us we had some helpful children on the ground floor that collected the tennis balls we threw into the black hole and returned them to us via the basket on a pulley.
Next up was the Cosmology Gallery which is home to works of art from various cultural backgrounds, using different media to explore science, culture and religion. Follow the story of creation and evolution from the Big Bang to the present day, told through paintings, photography and words. The gallery is situated under the striking buckyball roof (shaped like a giant molecule).
Here you can run your hands over the Mundrabilla Meteorite that landed on the Nullabor in WA.
Make sure you leave yourself enough energy to tackle the Leaning Tower challenge. The tower is situated outside the building and is an impressive 45m tall steel structure that leans at an angle of 15 degrees. A safe climb up the 222 steps will take you to the very top where you can enjoy great views of the countryside, and recreate Galileo’s gravity experiments.
You’ll need a token from the reception desk to access the area.
You are provided with water balloons to fill with different amounts, and then drop these through special chutes from the top of the tower, and watch as they free-fall and hit the safe ground set aside for this purpose.
In the main entrance area, you’ll find the Gravity Shop is which is full of fun distractions and science gift ideas.
There is also a few more fun hands-on science exhibits such as a plasma bowl and floating magnets.
If you are in need of refreshment, The Stargazers’ Café has some nice choices for light lunches with changing daily specials.
Other things to do at the Gravity Discovery Centre include:
Solar System Walk
The Solar System Walk is an enjoyable and educational 1km scale model of the Solar System. The walk begins at the Sun and disappears along a track through native bush. Alongside the track, model planets and their moons are located at the correct scaled distances from the Sun. Each of your footsteps represents about 6 million kilometres in reality. Take a clipboard, pencil and a copy of the Solar System Walk Quiz (from reception) for an extra family challenge.
Meander through the untouched Australian bush and discover wildflowers and other interesting plants.
The Gravity Discovery Centre is also open in the evening for nighttime stargazing.
For the GDC’s school holiday program, click here.
Gravity Discovery Centre
The Gravity Discovery Centre is open 10am–4pm Tuesday– Sunday. CLOSED MONDAY.
Open Public Holidays. Open every day during school holidays.
For up to date pricing visit their website gingin-observatory.space
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