Operation Earth at Dynamic Earth
- Thom Dibdin
- 13 February 2018
One of Edinburgh's most popular visitor attractions has a cool new add-on
Dynamic Earth is already one of Edinburgh's great family days out, an exciting and adventurous trip into the 15 billion-year history of the universe, which uses the latest technology to great effect with a nice twist of popular references.
So Operation Earth, the school holiday add-on for 2018, makes a lot of sense. It focuses on how the last couple of hundred years of human activity hasn't been kind to the planet and how you, as 6-10-year-olds (and their families), might help a sick planet get better.
The add-on itself isn't a huge deal to look at, tucked away in a corner of the top floor. The main event is a 30-minute piece of interactive theatre, in which audience members are apprentice environmental scientists who help a rather goofy planet Earth (yes, an actor in a costume) by diagnosing what is wrong with them.
The script won't win awards, but this is all about involvement, and thankfully the two actors are as committed to their task as the rest of Dynamic Earth's staff. The kids get to dress up, learn how the seas and atmosphere are polluted, and think about how to remedy it.
If the ideas are in the primary school syllabus, it all bears repetition and the very cool extras are certainly not in most schools.
There's a drone simulator to take images of an island; a sandbox that lights up like a map so you can terraform your own world complete with rain and lakes; microscope slides; clever apps which allow you to colour your own world; and a great game of food chain Jenga. Fun for all the family, adults included.
Operation Earth is at Dynamic Earth. Selected dates in February half term, Easter Holiday as part of Edinburgh Science Festival, Summer Holiday and Autumn half term. Included with admission to the Dynamic Earth exhibition and free for Explorer Pass holders.