|Perry gets ready to take part in the "You Be the Goalie "exhibit.
By Matt Vevoda
Hurriedly climbing the steps to the second floor at the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center, a horde of children from nearby Hoover Elementary in Santa Ana on Thursday became the first to test the new Science of Hockey exhibit featuring the Anaheim Ducks.
Screams of “This is so cool” could be heard from the approximately 100 kids as they navigated their way through the interactive stations including “You Be the Shooter,” “You Be the Goalie” and the “Skater Challenge” where they had the chance to test their abilities against a virtual Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Standing by to help demonstrate the exhibits and mingle with the young fans were the real-life versions of Giguere, Perry and Getzlaf in their Ducks jerseys.
“They look pretty happy,” Giguere said of the crowd. “They’re pretty curious about the game. They seem very excited. I think they are going to have a blast when they come here.”
|Giguere has a laugh with kids at the "Reaction Time" exhibit. |
Opening to the public on April 2, Science of Hockey explores how physics and physiology relate to the game. It is divided into two parts, with the Ice Rink area the first to welcome the students. There you can learn about properties of ice while riding a Zamboni machine. You can see what it’s like to spend time in the “Penalty Box,” where at least four hockey-based math questions must be answered to avoid giving up a goal while you’re in there. Along with the virtual goalie and shooter areas, the “Skater Challenge” allows participants to skate behind a virtual Getzlaf while learning about muscle and bone. “Reaction Time” allows participants to place their hands on a surface to test their reaction to sound, light and vibration. A “Friction Table” tests and compares how pucks move on various surfaces. In addition, the “Broadcast Booth” gives a chance to create unique play-by-play of the Ducks.
“It’s cool how much excitement you see from the kids. They may not know that much about hockey, but they’ll learn from it while they are here.” - Ryan Getzlaf
“As I came up the stairs here at the Discovery Science Center
, to see the kids with the ice, all the video and interacting with the players and Wild Wing, I thought, This is awesome,” Ducks radio color analyst Brent Severyn said. “I think overall when you look through this, it’s an overwhelming success.”
Said Ducks TV play-by-play announcer John Ahlers, “Professional athletes make it look so easy. You get a chance to actually try it here. Exposure is the most important attribute this exhibit gives the game.”
The Locker Room is the second part of the exhibit and the kids were able to see science lessons taught behind-the-scenes before the Ducks suit up. "Coach’s Corner” helps visitors understand a hockey player’s rigorous nutrition and exercise routine. Guests can design a virtual jersey to create a one-of-a-kind uniform in “Suit Yourself.” Mannequins are dressed as Ducks in “Uniform Weights and Measurements” to explore how sweat affects the body and a player’s uniform. In the “Slice the Ice” area, differences between a hockey skate, figure skate and speed skate can be investigated. Ducks memorabilia is featured throughout, including a special area dedicated to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship squad.
|Getzlaf shoots on a virtual J.S. Giguere in "You Be the Shooter." |
“It’s cool how much excitement you see from the kids,” Getzlaf said. “They may not know that much about hockey, but they’ll learn from it while they are here.”
With the opening of the Science of Hockey exhibit, the Ducks have helped create another avenue to promote the game while giving students an interesting educational experience along the way. “They put a lot of work into this,” Perry said. “It’s come a long way. You get kids out here, you get them grown to the game and excited about the game. It’s just going to get that much better.”
Added Getzlaf, “This is huge. It’s something our ownership and everybody is taking great pride in, as well as the players. We represent our ownership in the best way we can. That is doing stuff like this and growing the game out here. Our fans and obviously the kids have all responded.”