Next June, Dynamic Earth will host a new permanent attraction with Sudbury's first and only outdoor science park.
The new science park is part of a recent $3 million investment to improve the science centre, which focuses on Sudbury's mining sector and geology.
The City of Greater Sudbury has invested $250,000 to improve and expand Dynamic Earth, while FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation have each invested $1 million. Numerous other funders, including private partners, have supplied the remainder for the project.
Science North CEO Guy Labine said the outdoor park, which officially opens June 24, 2016, was a natural extension for the site.
“It encourages people to visit when it's nice and sunny,” he said.
Dynamic Earth is investing just over $1 million to build the park, which will occupy around 1,500 square metres around the science centre, located on Big Nickel Road.
The remainder of the fund has been used to improve and expand the underground experience at the site.
The outdoor science park will feature a number of activities and learning opportunities for families, including a large scoop tram – around 10 metres long – donated by mining supplier Atlas Copco.
Brenda Koziol, a senior scientist with Science North and Dynamic Earth, helped plan the park, and said visitors will get to climb into the scoop tram's cab and play with its various levers and controls.
They'll be able to press a button that simulates the roar of its large engine.
The park will also feature a “slag slide” that starts in a ladle and ends in a slag pot, showing visitors how nearby mining companies handle slag.
A new climbing wall will grant visitors a view of a stylized cross-section of Vale's Creighton Mine, one of the deepest nickel mines in the world.
The new addition will also feature interpretive trails around the Dynamic Earth site, with good views of the world's largest integrated nickel mining complex.
The trail will have a number of pieces designed by Laurentian University School of Architecture students.
Labine said he expects the expansion to attract more tourists from outside Northern Ontario.