Use Your Brain At The Action Potential Lab
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.
“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?”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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).
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