The exhibit is presented in a comprehensive, interactive manner that will satisfy the curiosity of all age groups. Located in the 2,000-square foot MacLean’s Gallery, five main themes displayed in colourful panelled stations engage the visitor with a step-by-step learning experience focusing on diamond formation, exploration, mining and processing. It also describes their properties and details the final stages of cutting and polishing.
Interactive videos and hands-on tools-of-the-trade help disseminate the information with the ease of a touch-screen, providing instant response.
Seven bright-red panels provide a flashy backdrop to how diamonds are formed, how their carbon atoms are arranged and the difference between diamonds and graphite. Also presented in this introductory station are factors that influence diamond colouring, location and the specific conditions under which they are brought to the surface of the earth via a volcanic eruption.
The next three themes describe exploration, mining and processing, and diamond properties.
The prospector’s methods, tools and theories used to locate kimberlites are the subject of a a video that highlights Eira Thomas’ discovery of the multibillion-dollar Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest Territories.
Mining and processing diamonds unveils the different methods of diamond mining, as well as the location of diamond deposits throughout the world, with a special emphasis on Canada’s diamond mines.
Diamond properties and their various uses in industry are described along with interesting facts about their refraction, thermal conductivity and hardness.
The final theme details the cutting and polishing stage, providing opportunities to size, evaluate and determine the cut of one’s own diamond. Information about five famous world diamonds completes the exhibit.
This $500,000 travelling exhibit opened March 6th and will be leaving for a five-year tour across North America in October. As of early April, 10 of 13 available venues had been secured, said Mia Boiridy, Dynamic Earth’s director.
“Most of the leases were already in negotiation before the exhibit opened,” Boiridy said. “It really speaks to the reputation Science North has developed for its travelling exhibits.”
People are familiar with the high quality and rich educational content of Science North exhibits, she added.
Boiridy said people seem to be really enjoying the exhibit. “Typically, they spend about 20 minutes,” she said. “It seems to be very engaging and they get a lot out of it.”
The project took 15 months to develop, resulting in a final product fairly close to its original concept, Boiridy said.
Supporters and funders of this Science North production were the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the Geological Survey of Canada and Natural Resources Canada.