Exploring the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

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The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is an extraordinary, all-weather family destination situated in the vibrant and safe precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg.
With more than 350 interactive maths, science and technology exhibits it is the largest and most visited science centre in Southern Africa. In addition to the hundreds of exhibits it also offers a wide range of leisure and educational activities and events.

Koko recently finished building a clay scale model of the solar system and to finish off the astonomy theme science lessons, we took our group to Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.
The kids loved it. There are so many interactive exhibitions that the kidlets were a little overwhelmed. We did, however, have a guided tour and our tour guide was wonderful with the children.

The kidlets loved the Microsoft exhibition. Koko played on the Kinect and the girls alternated between the laptops and the tablets.
Our favourite interactive exhibition, by far, was the Mind Ball game.
Koko couldn’t relax enough and eventually got frustrated sitting there watching the ball roll towards him. We could see immediately when he started over thinking and eventually lost. He wanted to go again, but there just wasn’t time.
Fifi and Daniel drew a tie (they hit the time limit). Daniel was amazing, I’ve never seen such focus from a 7 year old in my entire life! Watching his brainwaves on the monitor fascinated me. Fifi was concentrating so hard, she stopped breathing and went red in the face! Silly girl. These two monsters had us all in awe with their determination to win. They were thrilled that they had tied!

Mindball is a two-person game controlled by players’ brain waves in which players compete to control a ball’s movement across a table by becoming more relaxed and focused. Mindball is produced by the Swedish Company Interactive Productline. The concept, introduced in 2003, originates from the prototype Brainball which was developed by Smart Studio at The Interactive Institute, also in Sweden.

We were treated by a science experiement show by the Sci-Bono resident scientist. The kids loved watching things explode, change colour and expand. Watching these little faces in awe of what you can do with “simple” ingredients had me worried we might have explosions going off of home, LOL, but they were expressly told that they were not to try any of these at home. Thankfully Koko is a very careful child, so I don’t have to worry about that and Fifi and Pixie weren’t that interested until he made a helium balloon explode!
Once our group left, we spent a further 2 hours just exploring the centre and all the exhibitions. Even with 4 huge school buses arriving full of school children, we had plenty of space to explore and didn’t have to wait for turns at the exhibitions.

All in all, we highly recommend this facility. Its educational AND loads of fun!


The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Southern Africa’s largest science centre, is affiliated to the Gauteng Department of Education to support maths, science and technology education and to help build to South Africa’s science, engineering and technology capacity. Sci-Bono is responsible for implementing the Gauteng Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Strategy.

Sci-Bono started as a partnership project of the Gauteng Department of Education and various private sector partners. Located in the historic Electric Workshop in the cultural precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg, Sci-Bono annually receives hundreds of thousands of visitors to its a large collection of interactive science and technology exhibits and exhibitions. Sci-Bono also offers a broad programme of science and technology related events, activities and programmes for both the general public and the school community. Sci-Bono is now one of the most popular leisure and educational destinations in Gauteng.

Sci-Bono is a Non-Profit Company funded by its principal, the Gauteng Department of Education, It also benefits from grants and donations from donors in the broader public and private sector. Sci-Bono is also supported by various scientific and engineering bodies in industry and by the diplomatic community in South Africa.

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