The Soucy Family Exploration Station
We're creating new interactive stations to keep you safe and engaged. Play our outdoor Monarch Migration game, take the penny challenge in our wave tank, and peer into the patterns of butterfly wings with our Franklin's Guides.
Our Exploration Station invites play and delivers discovery. These hands-on exhibits focus on STEM fundamentals: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, subjects that are considered central to success in today’s economy.
Did you know that your body emits a type of light that our eyes cannot see? Our state-of-the-art thermal imaging camera allows you to explore a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum and see yourself in an entirely new way! Experiment with heat tattoos, infrared “lipstick”, or play with material that appears opaque to our eyes but is actually see-through in infrared!
Not all shadows are black. When lights of different colors shine on the same spot on a white surface, the light reflecting from that spot to your eyes is called an additive mixture because it is the sum of all the light. We can learn about human color perception by using colored lights to make additive color mixtures. Now you can make your own colored shadows and experiment with how different colored lights create different colored shadows!
Stress & Bridges - temporarily closed
Everyday we driver confidently over bridges, rarely wondering how they work. The trick to a successful bridge is distributing stress. Bridges use arches, trusses, suspended cables, or beams to carry weight. Engineers use colorful “photoelasticity” to visualize the distribution of stress on a variety of bridge constructions and you can too! You’ll experiment with different bridge types to see where stress points form as you maneuver a weight across the bridge.
What happens when an electric charge that you have generated is released below a metal ring? Watch the ring jump, reaching higher when you’ve maxed out the generator at 750 volts. And you can try rings of different weights and sizes to study the effects of these variables. You can decide how much energy to generate by cranking a wheel. This powerful display captures the excitement of generating energy … and it sparks fresh ideas about the transformations that came through this invention!
Circuits carry electricity — flowing from negative to positive — making movement, noise, and light when enough power comes through and reaches a machine. In this circuits station, you’ll create a path for the charge to follow, choosing where to direct the electricity you generate. In one set of panels, you’ll feel — by the number of rotations that are required on the generator — the difference between LED and conventional light bulbs. In another panel, you can set wheels in motion as you crank the generator. Whether you select light or motion, the electricity must travel across circuits you lay out.