Toronto is starting to reopen its doors, and we can’t wait to welcome you back. But it’s going to take us a little longer due to our interactive, high-touch exhibits. We’re working on a comprehensive plan to make sure it’s safe when we open our doors again–so thank you for your patience. As soon as we have more details, we’ll share.

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Exhibit Sampler




Innovation often occurs when a big dream or passion grips you and must be pursued.  The history of aerodynamics is filled with those who dreamed big and often relentlessly followed those dreams.  Exhibits with this theme highlight how ideas grow and how intense motivation can be a driving force for innovation.

Children experimenting with Paper Airplanes in the Imaginate exhibitionPaper Airplanes
Making an ordinary paper airplane can be an engaging experience.  Try out different airplane designs.  Which one flies further, more accurately?  Build, test, observe and retool as many times as you need to perfect your design.

Tumbling Dice
What sparks curiosity?  What spurs you on to ask more?  Place an object in a 12 foot vertical tube and watch it fly.  Adjust the airflow in these tubes to control your object’s ascent, descent and action within the tubes.

So You Think You Can Fly
As a child did you ever just want to fly?  Put on a pair of wings, flap your arms and compare your flapping rate to different birds.  Step on our scale and see what your wingspan would need to be for you to be able to fly.


Science is a process of questioning.  Unexpected answers are not always recognized for their value.  Keen observation and fresh eyes can often allow people to see beyond the obvious.

Adult with two children experimenting with Materials Playground in the Imaginate Exhibition Ferrofluid Experiences
What happens when a new pair of eyes looks at the same material? See how a fluid filled with tiny magnetic particles developed by NASA became a component of the auto and music industries. What would you do with this fluid?

Interactive Projections
In this playful experience, just crossing the floor triggers a reaction wherever you walk. What are those various reations? Where are the trigger points? Observe carefully and have fun testing and re-testing to find out!

Materials Playground
Have you ever looked at something ordinary and thought of a way to make it extraordinary? Test out various properties of materials in this materials playground and see how nature has directly inspired many inventions.


Colleagues or competitors can spur us to achieve more than we could on our own.  Peer interaction and pressure can influence us to go in directions that we might otherwise ignore.  This can have an impact on our ability to be innovative.

Two people playing with the Telltale Heart feature in the Imaginate exhibition.Sound Panels
Is it just noise or is it 'music'?  In this large room of sound and lights, you can create a musical masterpiece involving rhythm, light, pattern and emotion.  Collaboration with others lets you work with each other's sounds.

Telltale Heart
Experiences change when they are shared with others.  Place your hands on a sensor bar that reads your heart rate.  See how your heartbeat affects the behaviour of the large sculpture before your.  Watch what happens as more people join in the experience.

Making Faces
Do you have to work directly with someone for it to be called collaboration?  In this experience, one face has many different contributors.  Take a picture of your own face and choose from a fascinating video collection of other people's features to create a bizarre new image.


Innovation is neither quick nor easy.  Nothing beats experience and perseverance when it comes to creating something.  To be innovative, you need opportunities to create, test, tweak, re-test and even start over.  In this series of experiences, patience and observation are key in investigating materials and their properties.

Two children playing in Create Something New in the Imaginate exhibitionGear Tree/Kinetic Sculptures
How many different ways can you build on a single idea?  Closer examination of gears and how they move objects at different speeds and in different directions will allow participants to see how simple inventions can lead to innovative outcomes.

Create Something New
What is it that makes someone spend hours working on something?  Create a traditional item using non-traditional materials and discover the many possibilities of a space that is part tinkerer's workshop and part artist's studio.

Stop-Motion Animation
Sometimes innovation requires patience and adaptation.  In this experience, you can communicate ideas, stories and emotions by creating stop-motion animation videos.  Respond to novel challenges by using unexpected materials and making minor changes along the way.

Friction Zone
Many good innovations come from an understanding of the properties of the materials being used.  By experimenting with the surface properties of a range of materials, you can discover which combinations yield the fastest or slowest run.

Stories of Innovators
Perseverance and tenacity can be critical in reaching a breakthrough.  Sometimes it is luck, a mistake or the influence of others.  Throughout the hall you will experience the stories of innovators and learn the pathway to innovation that they took.  Was their success simply luck or a long road filled with many small steps forward?


Whether we dwell in the frigid Arctic or the dense rain forest, we rely on innovative processes and the making of innovative products to survive in our various environments.  Our common drive for food, shelter and water throughout the world demonstrate the diversity in innovation.

Child playing with the Innovation Around the World feature in the Imaginate exhibition. Innovation Around the World
Explore creative problem-solving solutions from across the globe. Learn about low-tech, grassroots innovations that were driven by the basic human needs of food, water, shelter, energy and health. Take a Q Drum for a spin and pull a south-pointing cart, among other innovative devices.

Question of the Day
Your opinion and those of others can sometimes influence the direction that an idea takes.  This interactive exhibit asks visitors to express their opinions by answering a variety of playful questions.  How do your answers compare with others?  Check the tabulated results at the back of the exhibit to see where you fit in.