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, visit www.midamericamuseum.org.