• Ian MacTavish, keeping things running behind the scenes. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Ian MacTavish, keeping things running behind the scenes. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

AS one of the first employees taken on when Scitech opened, Ian MacTavish celebrates 25 years at the science museum.

The Leeming man joined the maintenance team as part of a skeleton crew a few months before Scitech opened its doors.

In his years there he’s seen a few unusual incidents and been involved in some massive maintenance projects, including the night the giant test tank sprang a leak. 

“One section of the tank ruptured because of the heating and cooling and the water flooded out covering a quarter of Scitech,” he says.

“The clean up job was basically one week, so it was all hands on deck and exhibits were taken off that area and sealed off and all the carpeting that was on the floor at the time was lifted. That was the end of the test tank—I didn’t want that to happen again!”

After overseeing thousands of exhibits through the workshop, Mr MacTavish says a fair bit of his work comes when kids start interacting with experiments in unusual ways: Most recently they’ve taken to dropping magnetic trains down water pipes (where they attach to metal joints around the u-bend and get stuck. Theory of magnetism: Proved). 

His skills at Scitech have been in demand around the world and he’s been called into work on science exhibits in Paris, Dubai and Jeddah.

Before signing on to work at the museum Mr MacTavish says he’d used to change jobs every seven years.

“I did not expect to be here for the long haul, but Scitech sucked me in!”


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