The Window of Wonder (WOW) Gallery is where traveling exhibits will be located. Coming attractions include “Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas (Jan. 14-Apr. 7), Extreme Deep (Apr. 28-Jul. 29), Design Zone (Aug. 11-Dec. 2), and Grossology (Dec. 15-May 26, 2013). A packed calendar of events is already scheduled, including African Rhythms and Music in Nature (Feb. 16-18), Sport Science (Mar. 8-10), the State Science Fair (Mar. 31), Nano Days (April 26-28), Bug Out (May 10-12) and Summer Fun Extravaganza (Jun. 14-16).
A completely different and exciting Arkansas Museum of Discovery is being unveiled to the public on Jan. 14. If you’re a past visitor, you won’t recognize the place. Even the front door is in a new location for easier access. During the past year, the facility was gutted and redone from top to bottom. The result is three innovative galleries containing 85 very entertaining and interactive exhibits for all ages. In addition to the redesign, the focus of the museum is expanding as well.
The areas of exploration are the Amazing You, dealing with the amazing human body; Discovery Hall, where physics, engineering and math are investigated; and Earth Journeys, which examines global earth processes and extreme weather in Arkansas. The Science Museum of Minnesota worked with the museum to design the three gallery format, select the exhibits and to develop interpretive signs, according to Museum Director Nan Selz. Visitors can learn about “Amazing Airways,” learn to build things in the “Tinkering Studio,” play with a puzzle of the Arkansas River, visit the “Extreme Weather Station,” and view a huge topographic map of the state. New to the museum is “Tornado Alley,” where visitors can “ride out” the 1999 twister that hit Little Rock while listening to memories of those who experienced it.
A few favorites have been held-over from the old property. The “Room to Grow” area is still there but the area gets a facelift. The theatre remains, but has been relocated to accommodate larger audiences. Many of AMOD’s resident critters are back in new and expanded quarters. The 18 live animal habitats on the museum floor include ferrets, birds, spiders, snakes, owls, and flying squirrels.
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