Ontario Science Centre’s social media mystery

In celebration of its 40th birthday, the OSC's SciCom5.ca gives kids a chance to save the world using clues fed by Twitter, Facebook and online video.

When the Ontario Science Centre first opened in 1969, it was the first museum where kids were allowed to ‘touch stuff.’ Now, 40 years later, the Science Centre is keeping up with youths’ increasingly complex levels of communication with the launch of a new social media campaign, SciCom5.ca, that allows the six- to 13-year-old demo to solve science-based mysteries.

Developed by Toronto-based advertising and PR agency Narrative Advocacy Media, the social media challenge centers around helping 12-year-old Jamie Gill solve the mystery surrounding her grandfather’s disappearance. ‘The idea is that you become a part of this world, you are a SciCom5 recruit,’ says Tricia Soltys, account supervisor, public relations at Narrative Advocacy Media. The character’s grandfather was a leading scientist who worked on the earliest version of the Internet (known as the Arpanet), until he mysteriously vanished in 1969. Each week an exhibit-related clue packet is dropped through video transmissions, email communications, or a Twitter and a Facebook page.

‘We wanted to try something different. The Science Centre has always been good at reaching out beyond the physical walls to talk to people and communicate science,’ says Christine Crosbie, spokesperson for the Ontario Science Centre. The social media platforms used to drop clues will serve as viral platforms that Crosbie says will help promote the campaign. The centre also has four special anniversary exhibitions this year, two of which will be incorporated into the game.