Exhibit Mods (I didn’t know you could do that)

by ryan

On Friday we shared some of the coolest ways we can combine exhibits with outside objects and other exhibits to make unique experiences. Everyday, we roam the museum, interacting with the visitors, so it’s only natural that we’ve picked up little tricks of the trade along the way. I love the idea of being able to customize the exhibits by adding something to them. It reminds me of the spirit of the museum that we saw in the video ‘Palace of Delights’ that details the origins of the museum. There, it seemed like you just had a bunch of people messing around with stuff, showing off the cool discoveries that they made. It’s good to know that we can do the same thing, just using our creativity, exhibits on the floor, and easy to get materials. Here’s a list of some of the things that we did with the exhibits (anyone else, especially former explainers, feel free to add any other Exhibit Mods that you created back in the day).

Bubbles in the Tornado and Smoke Rings – This one is super awesome. If you blow bubbles just right into the smoke tornado, the wind current carries the bubble in a rapid circle around the outside of the twister. Little bubbles whip through the center at top speeds, while the bigger bubbles look awesome as they warp with the forces of the motion. It takes some patience to get the bubble just right, but it’s super awesome.

Plastic Bags in the Cone – One of the favorites in the museum is the orange cone that suspends a beach ball with a constant stream of air. It’s really fun to take pieces of plastic bag from the Strobe Flower and let them go in the air current. They travel way up in the air and trickle down in beautiful and surprising patterns. It’s also cool to stretch a rubber band over the cone to make a nice musical sound.

Turntable Rings in the Gravity Well – If you take the rings from turntable and bring them upstairs to the gravity well, you can make some realy beautiful patterns as well as discovering how different objects respond to friction and gravity. It looks awesome to have different sized balls and rings all spinning around on the black surface.

Turntable Rings Down the Stairs – Don’t try this on a busy day. Chris and I found out by accident that if you spin the turntable rings down the mezzanine stairs, they bounce and roll in interesting and entertaining ways (did I say before that our job is unbelievably fun). Just make sue you yell FORE!!! if one of the rings takes a wild bounce.

Hot/Cold Water and Bags in the Heat Camera – Bringing things to the heat camera (a screen that detects infra-red heat) yields nice results. I like to bring over cups of hot and cold water. Dipping a finger in the hot water reminds many of ET. Mixing the two in front of the camera gives a really beautiful picture of how heat moves through a liquid. Also we found that if you light a lighter under a plastic bag, you can watch the heat spread inside the space and get trapped. The crazy thing that happens is that the bag turns see through while it cools. Why? I have know idea, but it looks super cool.