On 24 January 2019, the Ontario Science Centre launched its 50th birthday celebrations. The celebrations were attended by Honourary Patron for the 50th birthday year – the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and the Honourable Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Artash and Arushi were invited to address the gathering and share their experiences on the role Ontario Science Centre played in their science, space and maker journey. It was a wonderful opportunity for Artash and Arushi to revisit the Centre (they made 15 visits in 2018) – see the new exhibits, address the audience, and brief Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, and the Honourable Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport on their maker journey.
They also helped launch the Ontario Science Centre 50 year celebrations by triggering the curtain drop through an Artificial Intelligence application.
The complete text of their speech is given below:
25 January 2019, Ontario Science Centre
DARING TO DREAM BIG
Hello, Bonjour, I hope you are well. J’espère que vous allez bien.
I am Arushi. I am in Grade 4 and I am a member of the Ontario Science Centre.
I am Artash. I am in Grade 7 and I am a member of the Ontario Science Centre too.
Around 10 years ago, we moved to Canada. We remember the winters when days were dark and cold. There were times when our father used to take us to the Ontario Science Centre – on Saturdays as well as Sundays.
It felt like coming home. We knew all the right places to go – the planetarium for the shows, the Van De Graaf Generator for hair raising displays, the pulleys to lift heavy loads with our finger, and the kids play area. We used to spend hours immersed in exhibits and interactive displays – starting from the rocks that were placed in the long corridor near the entrance marking different geological eras. Nowadays we do multiple jumps when entering the Ontario Science Centre corridors to get maximum reading from the seismic sensors placed there.
Ontario Science Centre is the place where our family participated in our first hackathon in 2014 – the NASA SpaceApps Challenge. We nervously discussed the night before whether we should turn up or not as we had little idea of what was expected. But we are glad that we did, the staff at the Ontario Science Centre were friendly and welcoming.
We were hooked. This was the place where making a Mars Rover in 40 hours did not seem impossible but the right thing to do. We learnt how to code, we learnt how to think big, we learnt to communicate our ideas, and we learnt that scientists are fun people, and science is the future. And we won the NASA Space Apps Challenge Toronto 2014 for our “Curious Bot” Mars Rover!
We ended up starting our own organisation HotPopRobot.com to undertake scientific projects and do outreach on science and space to other kids. Since 2014 we have participated in 27 hackathons, displayed our projects at Maker Festivals, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto International Film Festival, Science Rendezvous, schools, libraries and even streets – reaching out to thousand kids and their parents. We want to bring conversation on science, space and technology at family dinner tables.
But Ontario Science Centre is the place where the ideas, inspiration and courage was born.
Thank you, Ontario Science Centre. We are glad we walked a small part of your 50 years journey and we look forward to an exciting journey ahead.
Siblings Artash and Arushi have participated in 27 Hackathons- winning many of them. They are 2018 NASA SpaceApps Global Finalists among 1375 projects worldwide. They won the 2017 Canadian Space Apps Challenge and gave a presentation at the Canadian Space Agency, Quebec. They are 2018 Emerald Code and 2018 Science Odyssey Grand Prize Winners as well as 2018 winners of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Jesse Ketchum Award for their astronomy equipment.