Wild Weather touches down at Ontario Science Centre

New interactive exhibition developed and produced in Ontario explores the power and impact of severe weather

TORONTO (October 5, 2016) – Warning: extreme weather alert in effect at the Ontario Science Centre! Track a tornado, step into a storm and look into a lightning strike when Wild Weather touches down at the Centre on October 5, 2016. Wild Weather is presented with support from exhibition knowledge partner Western Engineering.

“Severe weather events have become more frequent and extreme impacting our communities, our infrastructure and our lives,” said Dr. Maurice Bitran, CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. “Wild Weather will not only immerse visitors in extreme weather events, but will start a public dialogue about climate change and its impact.”

Developed and produced by Science North in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre, this engaging, entertaining 600‐square‐metre‐exhibition comprises eight zones. From thunderstorms to summer heat waves, hurricanes to blizzards, visitors can uncover the science behind the weather around us and learn how new scientific advances are unravelling many of weather’s mysteries. They can experience what it’s like to fly a research aircraft through a hurricane, view the destruction caused by tornadoes, follow turbulent cloud formations and lightning strikes, become a citizen scientist in the midst of a raging winter storm and meet a researcher studying the force of wind in the lab.

“Wild Weather is an informative, interactive experience that will educate and empower Ontarians about severe weather and get them talking about climate change – a pressing issue that affects us all,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This joint Ontario Science Centre/Science North exhibition demonstrates the importance of leadership and innovation, and the benefit of collaboration in science education.”

Through interactive exhibits, multimedia experiences, models and large‐scale graphics, visitors will experience weather phenomena from around the world to gain a better understanding of the science behind severe weather, its connection to climate change, and new and emerging technologies such as wind engineering.

“Western Engineering works to minimize the impact of extreme weather by better understanding the vulnerability of buildings and structures to wind effects, allowing us to improve building code,” said Andrew N. Hrymak, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Western University. “As the knowledge partner for Wild Weather, we can share and discuss the practical implications of our research with visitors while, hopefully, inspiring future wind engineers.”

In addition to weather‐related programs, the Ontario Science Centre will participate in a global citizen science project from October 1 – 15, 2016, inviting the public to observe and record local cloud coverage using the NASA‐developed app GLOBE Observer. Clouds are highly variable and predicting their future evolution is a major challenge facing today’s climate scientists. Human observations of clouds around the world are valuable to compare with satellite remote sensing data. The results of this global project will be shared at the Science Centre on November 10, 2016, the first‐ever International Science Centre and Science Museum Day (ISCSMD). To participate in this citizen science project, please visit www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca/CloudCoverage/

Wild Weather runs daily until January 7, 2017 and is included with general admission. For more information about the exhibition and to purchase tickets, please visit www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca/WildWeather.

The Ontario Science Centre has welcomed more than 50 million visitors since it opened in 1969, implementing an interactive approach now adopted by science centres around the world. Today, the Science Centre is an international leader in free‐choice science learning and a key contributor to Ontario’s education and innovation ecosystems, offering lifelong learning through hands‐on, engaging experiences. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. As a publicly assisted organization, the Science Centre relies on generous individuals, corporations and foundations who share a commitment to science and education for additional operating support. For more information about the Ontario Science Centre, please visit www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca.

Media Contacts:
Anna Relyea
Director, Strategic Communications
416‐696‐3273 | c: 416‐668‐1967

Jefferson Darrell
Media Relations Officer

Andrea Mus
Media Relations Officer
416‐696‐3191 | c: 416‐895‐5482

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