A visit to Techniquest in Cardiff

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As the school summer holidays entered their final couple of weeks, I asked the kids if there was anything they particularly wanted to do. The response took me by surprise: “We want to visit Wales.” Earlier this week I took it upon myself to fulfill this slightly surprising wish. Before heading on to Porthcawl for a night, we spent a morning in Cardiff where I took these pictures at Techniquest on Cardiff Bay.

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One of the displays at the Techniquest Science Centre at Cardiff Bay. That’s a ball of air slowly rising in a chamber of viscous oil.

It may seem like a very excessive wish to grant, but I was going to take the kids to visit family in Somerset anyway. We simply extended our stay by a day and ventured over the Severn Bridge.

Techniquest is, frankly, awesome. It’s a selection of science exhibits and they’re all interactive. It’s aimed at educating children so they can play with exhibits focused on the body, heat, air pressure and so on.

Nothing will ever knock London’s Science Museum off its perch as one the best attractions in the world, but its popularity is also its curse. If you go during school holidays it is heaving whereas at Techniquest, we were able to take our time and being much smaller, I didn’t have to worry so much about Helen and Izzy wandering off and getting lost (the other big difference is that the Science Museum is free to visit where you have to pay at Techniquest).

That aside, the picture above is one of the exhibits at Techniquest. It’s a ball of air that I pumped into a chamber full of viscous oil. The blue object in the background is one the cranes from the days when Cardiff Bay was a working dock.

The picture below is of exactly the same ball of air, It was simply taken a few seconds earlier so there are some differences between the two images.

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The same ball of air, taken just a few seconds before the image above.

Just to give you some idea how slowly the ball was moving through the oil, each image was taken with a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. I thought this was too slow and that it wouldn’t work. As you can imagine, I was presently surprised when I saw the results!

I will be adding this blog post to my favourite photography blogging linky, #MySundayPhoto. You can visit youself by clicking on the badge below. I strongly suggest you pay a visit, especially if you likre photography, as some of the imagery is superb.




26 thoughts on “A visit to Techniquest in Cardiff”

    1. Oh they were delighted to visit Wales. I think the highlight was the beach at Porthcawl but Techniquest was a very close, second.

    1. No, not a lensball on this occasion, but the effect is similar. Note, however, that the crane is not upside down as would happen with a lensball. No idea how the light refraction works!

  1. Paul @ Topsy Turvy Tribe

    What a fantastic photo. At first I thought it was a metallic lens ball. Sounds like a great family day out.

    1. It was a great place to visit because there was so much for the children to do. Taking those shots was great fun. I had no idea if they’d work but I was pleased with the results.

  2. Interesting shots. It’s always a shame the science museum’s always so full. Think Tank’s a bit better, but again you have to pay for that, and rainy days in school holidays are a definite no.

    1. Think tank is a new one on me but I shall check it out. The trick for the Science Museum is not to go during holiday periods if you can.

  3. the kids used to go to techniquest on their school trips, but to Bristol as we lived in England. i’ve not been to Cardiff for years, despite only being 40 miles from there when i’m in the UK #mysundayphoto

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