Imagine being able to speed up or slow down some of the world’s most amazing natural phenomena. Watch a stream of water freeze midair as a set of separate drops, or watch millions of years of geological evolution unfold in just a matter of seconds. Sci-Tech Discovery Center of Frisco invites visitors to manipulate time to examine the hidden world of change with the premiere of its new traveling exhibit, Playing with Time, running June 18-December 31.
The Playing With Time exhibit, sponsored by EMC2 and ViewPoint Bank, provides visitors with a hands-on experience using high-speed photography, time-lapse videos, natural records of change like eroded rocks and lake cores, and other “time-shifting” techniques to discover the changes that take place in the world beyond their perception. Visitors will explore the unseen world of natural change and see some of the tools that help scientists make sense of how our world works.
“Playing With Time is great fun because it gives our visitors the opportunity to manipulate time, which is a power many of us wish we had!” says Stephanie Crean, Sci-Tech education director. “Once they’ve had a chance to slow down or speed up time, we hope that they’ll look at their changing world a little differently. So many amazing changes happen around us that we don’t detect. This exhibit helps us discover them.”
The Playing With Time exhibit is divided into three major sections:
Time Tools Lab
The Time Tools Lab is home to high-speed cameras, strobes, and other high-tech experimental tools that will allow visitors to slow down the popping of a popcorn kernel or perceive a stream of water as a flow of discrete water droplets. The Lab also features an opportunity for visitors to use a high-speed camera to capture them making all kinds of funny faces. When they play the video back in slow motion, they’ll be amazed at what they see!
At the heart of Playing With Time, the investigation areas focus on the in-depth study of changes in three areas: the Earth, the universe, and life. In the area exploring Earth changes, visitors can see how scientists study lake cores and ice cores to find evidence of climate changes over hundreds of years. Unique interactive computer programs allow visitors to make Earth events go backwards or forwards. By manipulating the rate of change, visitors can learn about volcanic eruptions, glacial migration, and land erosion. And they’ll watch as a sand core is created, layer by layer, revealing change over a period of just a few months. The area of universe change invites visitors to investigate how the universe has expanded over billions of years by exploring computer animations and hands-on activities about the sun, the moon, and the stars. And the area of life change encourages visitors to explore changes in the human body and in the plant and animal worlds. They’ll see how a bean plant appears to dance as it grows through a season. And they’ll have the chance to test their knowledge about which processes – from an eye blinking to a flower blooming – take longer.
This theater space invites visitors to have a seat and enjoy a stunning look at the world of change over time. A panorama of seven screens will display super-fast and super-slow events from water drops splashing to canyons forming. Visitors will see that even the quickest events are made up of discrete parts, and they’ll wonder at the elegant beauty of how the parts work together to create natural change of all kinds.
Information on hours and admission can be found on www.mindstretchingfun.org.
Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Inc. was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization in 2004 in response to community demand for a cultural and educational destination in Collin County. The Center, which opened permanently in the Frisco Discovery Center in 2010, has a clear mission to provide dynamic, interactive experiences that inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to embrace discovery and innovation through the exploration of math, science and technology.
To learn more about Sci-Tech Discovery Center, visit www.mindstretchingfun.org.