Sunday, September 23, 2018

Niagara Falls- Day 3-- Power Vista & Niagara Falls Aquarium

We woke to very cold rainy weather on Monday and decided to stay indoors exploring some museums and an aquarium. 



Our first stop was the New York Power Vista and we had SO MUCH fun at this FREE interactive exhibit.  We learned all about the geology of the area, how they generate so much power from the water of the falls, and even a bit about the history of the Native Americans in the area.

(taken on a different and sunny day this is what the Power Vista looks like from the outside; stretching right across the road)


We were met with the sight of this giant turbine on the way in.. they have LOTS of these running almost all time producing power.


Once inside we are all given free souvenir badges.  These badges are used to start the interactive programs and you can personalize them before entering the museum.


There is a glass covered bridge we walk over and from there we have views of both the Canadian power house (shown here)...


and the New York power house shown here.


We were told to start at the ground floor and work our way up.  We first learn about the geology of the region and are encouraged to try and layer the different elements of the Earth to make our own waterfall. Learning about how Niagara Falls was formed.




We aren't always successful!
Next up we learned about the competition between Edison and Tesla and direct current versus alternating current.  This whole section of the museum focused on the start of the industrial revolution and the first power houses that were built.


There was also a display about the Native American people who first lived, hunted, and fished the region before being moved onto reservations further inland.


The boys really loved the section of the museum that showed how they blasted and built tunnels to divert the water and build the power house that we're standing next to today.  Precise calculations have been made so that both New York State and Canada can draw as much hydroelectric power as possible without destroying the aesthetic view of the falls that draws in millions of tourists each year.


As we head upstairs we learn more about power itself, how to conserve power and how they keep a constant watch on power demand and usage so that they can keep up or conserve power as needed.


A fun interactive and competitive game to see who can keep the power supply matching the demand

Alec won by one percent!

This table allowed you to build towns, solar farms, power plants, factories, etc and connect them to see how various forms of energy can work together to power a whole city.
We watched a quick film about hydroelectric plants and Niagara falls (with a bit of water spray it became a 4D experience!).  Then Evan, Alec, and I tried out an electrifying experiment using a van de graff generator.

Before.. 

After

Before.. 

After


There was quite a lot to see and do!



The younger two boys had a great time listening to these engineers talk

Then they worked together to use the table to build a HUGE connected mega city. 

We made a quick stop at a Subway for lunch and then headed to the aquarium.  Honestly.. it was not worth the $60 some odd dollars it cost us for admission. We toured the whole aquarium in under 30 minutes; it was so small. 

The boys did enjoy watching the penguins. 



We learned about Sturgeon and how the aquarium helps grow them for stocking the great lakes region.


There were sharks, coral reefs, California sea lions, and even sea horses.















It was still pretty early in the afternoon and the rain had let up a bit by the time we finished touring the aquarium so we headed across the street and toured the Niagara Gorge Discover Center.

We watched a movie about the history and discovery of the Gorge and learned a lot about the geology of the region.




We also learned a lot about glaciers, how they move, the types of land forms they leave behind, etc.


There were fossils on display too.


It was a fun way to learn more about the region and perfect for keeping us dry on a wet day.

You might also like:
Niagara Falls Day 1& 2: Hiking the Niagara Gorge 

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4 comments :

  1. You have given me a different view -the two times we visited Niagara we've been on the Canadian side. We did see just a little bit of the US side but if we can go again we are going to stay on the state side (a little more affordable and looks to be just has fun). Aquariums are always more money it seems.

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    1. The New York side is surprisingly dumpy. You'll find a brand new hotel right near an abandoned warehouse or a power plant... we wished we had stayed on the Canadian side but we did have lots of fun exploring both sides.

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