Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Discovery Place announces new exhibition

From a Discovery Place press release that just popped into our inbox:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Discovery Place is elevating its cool factor! The Museum introduces Cool Stuff, the first in a series of exhibition openings featuring all-new exhibits on Friday, Nov. 27. Also premiering is Explore More Stuff, a brand-new, interactive lab area.

Cool Stuff kicks off the transformation of Discovery Place as part of the largest renovation in the Museum’s 28-year history.

“This is a major milestone for Discovery Place as we reveal the first step towards the complete transformation of the Museum,” said John Mackay, president and CEO for Discovery Place. “Guests will be amazed at the changes they experience in the Museum. And this is only the beginning as we continue to unveil all-new exhibitions from now through June 2010.”

Designed to demonstrate physical phenomenon in unique and eccentric ways, Cool Stuff allows visitors to launch objects into the air, lie on a bed of nails, crush a garbage can or use a laser to listen to secret messages.*

Featuring a gallery of interactive displays and contraptions, Cool Stuff allows guests to experience physics phenomena through hands-on participation and applications that demonstrate why things do the things they do.

Visitors become involved in their science lesson and achieve an understanding of scientific concepts through interaction and experimentation, mixed with an element of surprise. Secret features embedded within exhibit pieces provide an element of mystery to be solved by avid participants.

“With the renovation, we wanted to demonstrate that science is everywhere and the scientific process is always revealing new ideas,” said Mackay. “Cool Stuff shows guests what’s fun about science, what’s important about science and ultimately, what’s cool about science.”

The collection of multi-dimensional exhibits allows guests to uncover the extraordinary wonders of science, math, technology and more. Visitors can discover the beauty and strangeness of physics; look at the world in new ways; become aware of new scientific concepts and discover the science behind why things do the things they do.

Cool Stuff is highlighted by three, main areas:


“What goes up, must come down” is a fundamental but fun principle of physics. Activities in this area focus on the physics of lifting - making things go up and the challenge of keeping them up against the inevitable force of gravity. Participants can launch objects by utilizing electromagnetic forces or by the explosive force of a chemical reaction. Guests also can experience “full body lift” with an all-new, vacuum-powered chairlift.


Focusing on the strange and beautiful feats of physics that involve motion, light and heat, exhibits featured in this section illuminate bizarre aspects of the physical world. Using basic tools of science – observation and manipulation – visitors will experience a zone of weird happenings that delight the mind and senses. Guests can explore the invisible light that the human body radiates all day long or bend light around a corner using fiber optics. Other features introduce the element of spin to a seemingly mundane object, only to produce bizarre forces and motion that are totally unexpected.


Visitors can explore concepts of mechanical advantage, energy transfer and air pressure in PUSH. Examining how forces make objects move, visitors can perform amazing feats of strength such as crushing a garbage can, winning an impossible tug of war match and shooting a powerful basketball-sized pocket of air that can be felt 30 feet away.

To cool down from “lifting”, “looking” and “pushing”, guests can further investigate and view more applications of chemistry, physics and engineering at Explore More Stuff. Located across from Cool Stuff, Explore More Stuff presents a lab-like environment where matter and energy are explored and tested. Facilitated by experts, kids and adults can experiment with forces that are controlled only by the laws of physics and chemistry.

Participants can design, create and implement their own projects and experiments using

real tools of science. New eureka moments can be experienced in Explore More Stuff as the topics and themes change monthly. Programs present three to six different inquiry-based design challenges allowing guests to become hands-on participants. Science themes include forces, chemical reactions, engineering, robotics, solar power, magnetism and electricity and more.

Cool Stuff marks the first of all-new exhibition areas to be showcased in a completely renovated and revitalized Discovery Place. At the completion of the renovation, set to conclude in June 2010, Discovery Place will showcase all-new, interactive exhibitions that present science and technology in a contemporary way. The renovation also features an improved infrastructure and a brighter, fresher look for the Museum.

Beginning, Friday, Nov. 27, admission to Discovery Place will be $10 for adults (14-59); $8 for seniors (60 and older) and children (2-13); free for children younger than 2. Discounts are available for Discovery Place Members and for groups of 15 or more.


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