The first time I
made a venture to the Mid-America Science Museum I was 8. I had a chance to visit the museum again recently
and walking through the doors transported me back to the excitement and
curiosity I felt as a kid. The museum ( which is located in Hot Springs)
provides a learning platform to the sciences and does a great job of blending
the powers of imagination into the mix.
The museum has over 100
hands-on exhibits and new ones are constantly added to keep the experience new.
The new one now is called Arkansas Rocks! and explores the processes that
formed our caves, streams and mountains. The exhibit ( which is open until
March) focuses on the major geologic features of Arkansas and the processes
that shaped and are shaping them.
As to the permanent
exhibits, one of my favorites is “Underground Arkansas”, a gigantic
indoor cave filled with tunnels,swinging bridges, and slides. The Tesla Demonstration is also
popular. According to Guinness World Records the museum has the world’s most
powerful Tesla Coil. During the
demonstration, viewers watch “caged lightning” and 1.5 million volts
of electricity spark from it.
The 65,000 square foot
museum is located in Mid-America Park on 21 wooded acres. The multi-million
dollar facility is divided into two wings, connected by a glass-enclosed bridge
that spans the outside stream. The museum was designed by museum architect E.
Verner Johnson and Associates of Boston, MA and Stuck, Frier, Lane, Scott,
Beisner of Little Rock and Jonesboro.
The Museum opened in 1979
and continues to partner with NASA for its space education programming. In
2001, the Museum was selected as a Smithsonian Affiliate, the first institution
in the state to have this recognition. For more information on the museum,