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There’s a new a space in town which aims to bring your inner science nerd and art geek together.

The Action Potential Lab – Toronto’s first art and science lab – celebrated their grand opening this weekend with a bash that included a kid-focussed DJ-spin table, a chance to microscope anything-you-can-think-of onto a projector, crayon melting and magnetic car races.

Conceived by Lisa Carrie Goldberg, and occupying a storefront at Davenport and Christie, the lab provides programming for kids and adults, encouraging everyone to “use their brains.”  

“It’s all about interdisciplinary,” Goldberg said. “We let (kids) do things that they couldn’t do at school. … We open up books, even with three-year-olds, and say ‘What would you like to see? What would you like to do?”

LISA CARRIE GOLDBERG

LISA CARRIE GOLDBERG

The participant-based programming has resulted in creations of glow-in-the-dark Jell-O (made with boiled tonic water), toe jam culture cultivation, and adult beer brewing workshops. For help along the way, Goldberg has gathered an enthusiastic team of volunteers, who range from highschool students to publishing professionals, who each bring their own ideas and creativity to the Lab.

The Action Potential Lab

Teacher Nicki Brouwer helped create the “Knotty Knitters” program where kids examine different textiles under a microscope, and incorporate crypotogy lessons while learning how to knit scarves and messenger bags.

“We looked at patterns so that they’re like a code,” Brouwer said while stationed at the Lab’s microscope booth Saturday.

CHILD EXAMINES A BIRD FEATHER UNDER A MICROSCOPE

VOLUNTEER NICKI BROUWER

Amazingly, Goldberg and team organized the weekend bash the Thursday before the big event. They brainstormed activities they could put together with materials available at the Lab. And with great minds and attitudes, things came together to create a beautiful, fun event.

It’s how Chris Ing, who is a PhD student in biochemistry, came up with the idea for a DJ spin table.

“The kids are going like crazy, they’re not worried about breaking anything,” Ing said. “We’re thinking about working on a workshop in the future.”

LIGHTING LIGHTBULBS WITH LEMONS AT THE LAB

VOLUNTEER HENRY LEOPOLD

Volunteer Rabia Khan, the official Lab greeter on Saturday, says she respects Goldberg’s ability to bring science and arts together. She points to the small retail space the Lab has started, and says that Goldberg will only stock unique items (such as microbe stuffies) which are not available in other spaces.

MELTING CRAYONS WITH A BLOW DRYER

VOLUNTEER GRIFFIN WAHL

“Lisa has taken science and made it artistic. I want to learn from her.” Khan, who has an MBA and a PhD in genetics, said.

CHILD VIEWS FIGURE OF THE HUMAN BODY AT THE LAB

The Lab is available for birthday parties on weekends. Kids programs range from $250 – $300 + HST for 12-week (one day a week) programs, with spring sessions starting next week. Two week-long summer camps are planned for July ($350 + HST).

ACTION POTENTIAL LAB BUTTONS

Action Potential Lab

451 Christie. St. (at Davenport),416-538-4100

Hours: Monday – 4 – 1o p.m.; Thursday – 9 – 5:30 p.m.; Saturday – 10 – 11 a.m.

Other times by appointment

 

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