Science Center Opens Window to Cosmos

Corinna Scott

It was 9:45 a.m. on a lazy Sunday. The weather was fair and warm as students waited patiently in front of the Milky Way Café on May 3 for the vans to arrive and take them to the California Science Center.

There was a feeling of anticipation in the air as students, members of the cosmology and astrophysics club and friends, loaded the lunches for the day onto the waiting vans. Then they boarded themselves, on their way to a day packed with science, learning and fun.

Upon arrival at the Science Center students walked down a path lined with globes depicting different aspects of life on Earth, culture, recycling and other themes.

“I thought it’s a really good idea for my students to see the California Science Center,” said Poghos Kazarian, physics instructor and adviser for the Cosmology and Astrophysics club.
Kazarian talked about the various aspects of the science center, such as the IMAX theater, industry technology and aerospace technology. Watching the movies, he said, “would be the closest thing to scuba diving, but I don’t think you can do that [scuba diving] in Glendale.” The movies would take viewers under the water and close up to sea life.

“It’s a good place to see everything at once so you don’t have to go to many museums. You could just take one trip and enjoy yourself,” said Kazarian.

Val Hovanesian, 27, was confident that the IMAX movies would be exciting and educational.

I’m looking forward to the place. I’ve never? been here before,” said Hovanesian, who is studying criminology and criminal investigation. He said he was looking forward to examining the meth lab exhibit.

“Under the Sea,” the first IMAX film on their busy schedule, is narrated by Jim Carrey. The students were dazzled with the kaleidoscope of sea life with coral, fish, seals and the occasional shark, like scuba diving the footage was interactive with sea life swimming towards the viewer in 3D.
“I thought it was amazing. I’ve never seen a 3D movie like that before. Like, having sharks bigger than life-size. That was cool,” said Josh Jalless, who is studying mechanical engineering.

“Wild Ocean” focused on the African coast and the journey of sardines and how humans have affected the population of sardines and the ocean food chain.

Both films had a common theme: humans must pay attention to global warming and air pollution or pay the cost with loss of sea life, which is an important link in the circle of life, to which humans are a part.

After the films, the group made its way to the museum.

One of the exhibits was “Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause.” The exhibit contained models of jungle drug labs and a scale smuggling tunnel, which was just high enough for an adult to walk through while crouching, but big enough for the children, who were exploring its rocky walls.

Brian Chang, 19, who has been with the cosmology and astrophysics club since it began with five members and now has grown to about two dozen, had already seen most of the exhibits but thought the movies were “very thought provoking” and had “very good production qualities.”

One of the students, Manifa Ashhehian, 24, who is studying civil engineering, chose to try the high-wire bicycle, which is a popular attraction at the museum.

“It was very good. Very scary,” she said. The bicycle was on a high-wire with a net below 43 feet above the ground. The rider would get on the bike which was facing the platform, then pedal backwards swaying ever so slightly as the center of gravity adjusts. Below the bicycle was a counterweight to offset the weight of the rider so that the rider wouldn’t fall.

“I thought they [exhibits] were great,” said Kazmik Gasparyan, with exception of the drug exhibit. “I didn’t like that one. It’s too negative for me.”

The science trip, including lunches, was paid for by the school. The museum admission was free of charge. The trip was paid for through a grant through the Associated Students of Glendale Community College (ASGCC). The lunches were provided by the cafeteria.

For information on joining the Cosmology and Astrophysics Club, visit the student center or call Poghos Kazarian at (818)240-1000, ext. 5286.