Who doesn’t love a science museum, especially a sustainable, interactive, thought provoking one?! Terra, the Sustainability Pavilion at Expo is all this and more. This was Piper’s favourite part of our visit to Expo 2020 and where we spent the most time, probably learning the most. Be sure to visit if you’re visiting Expo 2020 with kids or even without, you’ll be sure to learn a lot. Here’s everything you need to know about Terra, Sustainability Pavilion at Dubai Expo.
Read more about visiting Expo 2020 with kids and discover what else they’ll love during your visit.
Exhibits at Terra
Your visit to Terra begins out doors as you travel back in time whilst shaded by the futuristic electricity trees. You’ll walk past life sized animal sculptures and snippets of facts and figures from many years ago.
You’ll peer through eye glasses at the many layers of the Earth and learn how the planet has naturally evolved over time.
As you enter the wide open space you’ll be presented with how humans have been speeding up changes to the planet and the change required now. This room is full of interactive exhibits, designed to get visitors involved and thinking about our impact on the planet.
We got lost in a “maze hug”, learned about mechanics at the same time as global warming and rolled a balance ball world around a huge circular puzzle demonstrating Earth in balance.
Under the Forest Floor
Once we’d had our fill of games we heading down under the rainforest floor through roots and across the forest floor.
The Hall of Consumption
This takes us to the Hall of Consumption and perhaps the place for most reflection in the whole of Expo.
Again there are plenty more hands on exhibits to keep the kids entertained, all the while learning about consequences of global warming and deforestation. It’s all very dark with bright splashes of colour and thoughtful quotes such as “Everything comes from somewhere. How many somewheres are left?”.
Dotted around this room are “Would you rather”style games. Questions like would you rather be famous or for your family to be proud of you. You pull a lever to indicate your selection. There’s no judgement here but interesting facts based on your choices and you can see the percentage of visitors that chose each option.
This part of the Terra perfectly demonstrates how our rampant consumerism is absolutely out of control and how that is impacting our world with dire consequences.
Laboratory of Future Values
Then it’s into the Laboratory of Future Values and how we still can make changes for the better. This place is fascinating with heaps of information about urban farming and sustainable cities. There’s also heaps about conservation successes, bee populations, hydroponic gardens, ocean projects and medical advancements. It’s all pretty inspiring and beautifully presented.
The exhibit finishes with a visit to an area dedicated to the children of Dubai. They were targeted with coming up with innovations and their drawings then made into models. It’s truly inspiring to see what these young minds came up with.
The Terra Pavilion building
Terra was built in collaboration with Cornwall’s Eden Project with building design by UK based Grimshaw Architects. It is one of the most eco friendly buildings in the world.
As you approach the Sustainability pavilion you’ll see the 18 huge electricity trees. These rotate and move to optimise the sunlight, creating solar power for the whole pavilion. The main pavilion canopy also collects sunlight to add to the power plus water to help cool the building. Its aim is to demonstrate that sustainability is possible even in the harshest of environments and to be 100% self sustaining.
Once the Dubai Expo closes at the end of March 2022 the whole of Terra will be converted into a permanent science centre. Continuing the legacy of this years Expo.
Final thoughts on The Terra Sustainability Pavilion
The Pavilion is essentially all geared to encouraging visitors to question their relationship with the planet. The message is definitely one of empowerment and possibility rather than demoralising. I think it does exactly that. We left Terra, heads full of new information and ideas and Piper with an even larger passion for the planet.
Read Next: Everything you need to know about Expo 2020.