Science North's own Staff Scientist Amy Henson had a key role in the Sudbury episode of Canada's most watched television program The Amazing Race Canada, which aired on August 12, 2015. When the show made a stop in Greater Sudbury, racers had to visit Science North to complete a Fast Forward challenge. A Fast Forward is a task that only one team may complete, allowing that team to skip all remaining tasks and head directly to the next Pit Stop. We asked Amy a few questions about her experience with The Amazing Race Canada.
What challenge did the racers have to complete to receive their next clue?
Science North has a fantastic Northern Ecosystems exhibit that showcases native species in Northern Ontario. We selected two interesting local turtle species to showcase in this challenge. The racers had to choose between four individual turtles to partner with on this challenge and had to learn how to safely feed the turtle and feed the turtle its meal – a squirming lunch composed of mealworms, crickets and superworms. But in true Amazing Race Canada fashion the challenge is never without its surprises – while the racers were feeding the turtle, I had to approach them with the second part of their challenge - a squirming meal for them to eat as well!
What was the funniest moment during the challenge?
While the racers were examining which turtle to choose to partner with in their challenge, their choice could make or break this challenge for them. All three of Science North's Blanding's turtles were there as well as one of our painted turtles. This challenge could have been extremely hard if the racers chose a specific turtle as some turtles are better eaters than others. However, filming happened during the spring and our female Blanding's turtle Emy was voracious at that time. I knew that if a team chose Emy, they would have the challenge made. Luckily for Gino and Jesse, they chose Emy. While she was unsure at first who these "non-bluecoated" people were, once she started eating, she ate her whole meal easily.
What is your best memory of being involved with The Amazing Race Canada?
One of the neatest things to see the day we were filming the race was the actual urgency (and almost panic) you could feel in the racers as they came into Science North and during the challenge. I can't imagine being under that kind of pressure and stress for the endurance of the race.