Little Rock, Ark (November 14, 2023) – Museum of Discovery will debut Science Lab, one of two new permanent galleries, on Saturday, November 18, and Dynamic Earth, the second gallery, on Saturday, December 16.
Science Lab features three content-focused zones: Forces & Energy, Light & Sound, and Electricity & Magnetism. The gallery encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Additionally, the space encourages family learning by utilizing dispersed early childhood exhibits so younger children can be just as engaged in Science Lab as their older siblings and parents or grandparents.
The Little Rock-based science center had planned to debut both Science Lab and Dynamic Earth together, but due to construction delays, Dynamic Earth’s debut was moved to mid-December. The 78 new exhibits/experiences that will be housed in the two new galleries replace the exhibits that were destroyed in the February 2021 flood caused by burst pipes and resulting in $7.6 million in damage.
“The debut of almost 80 new engaging experiences is the most transformative, exciting thing to happen at Museum of Discovery in almost a dozen years,” says Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “These exhibits are truly world-class and will provide fun, science-focused experiences sure to delight our guests.”
Some Science Lab experiences include:
- Chain Reaction Builds: Guests design, build, and test their own chain reaction. Drawing from an array of interchangeable parts – ramps, triggers, lifts, towers, dominoes, balls, blocks, etc. – guests can work alone or collaborate to fill in the gap between a ball launch point and one of three unique “payoff” events.
- Raceway Challenge: Guests can work collaboratively or alone to design and experiment with energy transfer and gravity by using track sections (straight, curved, loops, etc.) to create simple or complex raceways.
- Light the City: In this interactive challenge, guests try to balance electrical capacity against varying demand in a simulated fantasy city. To do this, they must make choices about sources of electricity that suit the city they choose to power.
- Giant Lever: This large lever allows guests to pull on a lever to lift a heavy block they could otherwise never move. Three ropes, one each at 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1 mechanical advantage, provide a physical way for guests to feel and compare the change in advantage provided by lever arm distance.
- Paint with Color Wall: Two large vertical horizontal screens mounted to the wall provide an interactive opportunity for guests to paint and design with color and light using a digital painting program. A pedestal-mounted kinetic sensor allows guests to paint by moving their hands to control the painting process, choose shapes, and overlap patterns and colors.
Dynamic Earth, opening mid-December, demonstrates how the planet changes through three zones: Adaptation, Transformations, and Forces of Change. Guests will witness how the smallest of microbes recycle energy back into systems of life or see what sets drastic geological changes into motion.
Science Lab, Dynamic Earth and the two-story climber that debuted at Museum of Discovery in November 2022 were designed by Hands On! Studio of St. Petersburg, Fla., and fabricated by Universal Services Associates of Folcroft, Penn.
In addition to the gallery opening, Museum of Discovery will be celebrating Thanksgiving break with hands-on activities, animal programming and science demos and will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday (closed Thanksgiving Day) and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit www.museumofdiscovery.org or call 501-396-7050.
About Museum of Discovery
Founded in 1927, Museum of Discovery is one of the state’s oldest museums. Its mission is to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences. To learn more, visit museumofdiscovery.org.