If you reckoned that our young forwards, defensemen, and goalies only have time to worry about hockey, think again! These stars of the future had the chance to take a tour around an edutainment complex full of interactive displays that helped them to get to grips with the basic laws of physics, mechanics, and electricity. And the junior sportsmen were so thrilled with the experience that we were left wondering what motivates them more — victory on the ice, or visiting an upside-down room, or a labyrinth of mirrors?
At 9 a.m. Omsk time, the lads from Metallurg Novokuznetsk went out on the ice and played in a thrilling match against their namesakes from Magnitogorsk: during the game they led 4:2, only to go down 4:5 after conceding the decisive goal just 28 seconds before the end of regulation time. Who wouldn’t be disappointed after that?
But after a quick rest and some lunch, the Siberian team headed off on a tour of a museum full of fascinating things that were just begging to be touched, pushed, and prodded into action with jubilant cries. In summary, it was a museum where kids could get away with doing so many of the things that adults usually tell them not to do. And when all the fun has a valuable purpose, forming a quest in search of keys that can be found using newly-acquired knowledge of waves, resonance, pendulums, and centrifugal force, that’s a real success!
Metallurg Novokuznetsk forward Alexander Mezentsev told us what made the biggest impression on him:
„I really liked the tour, especially the first hall with the interactive exhibits. It was really funny to see the furniture on the walls and the ceiling. At first we couldn’t really work out what to do with it! The toughest challenge was the labyrinth of mirrors. It was so hard to find the way out. Doing things like this helps take our minds off the games, but only a little bit. We’ll be ready for our next match.”
The labyrinth that Alexander described is a real test, even for adults. Without help from the museum guide it was easier to blunder into another mirror rather than navigate a path into the next room. The gravitational trap also caused problems — although it seems that the surface level is only slightly out of place, the vestibular system responds instantly to even a minimal change. Even an expert in sliding from post to post had difficulties, as Metallurg Novokuznetsk goalie Yegor Kozlov explained:
„My favourite was the room where everything was upside down. As soon as you step inside you feel like you’re sliding all over the place. Not even my goalie skills could help me today!”
When they found all seven keys, the kids got a tasty reward. But not even chocolate coins could distract them for long — as soon as they finished the main task they carried on making pictures out of sand, puzzling over the dry ice, and playing on the electronic drums.