Gateway Science Museum

Spring 2012


Noise! an interactive exhibit that allows children to create their own music

Create the soundtrack for a science fiction film, generate intricate designs in sand without ever touching the sand, and learn to play the pipe organ. These are just a few of the activities you will discover with Noise, which explores the science of sound, music and hearing.

Explore interactive hands-on stations, including:

Scream Chamber: enter a soundproof booth and scream as loudly as you possibly can. A meter outside the booth indicates the decibel level of your scream and a video monitor allows visitors to watch as you scream to your heart’s content.

Sound Track: first, you’ll watch a series of video clips without sound on a TV monitor. Then, select background music themes and observe how each musical theme influences the “feel” of the video sequences. 

Hearing Test/ Pitch Match: test the frequency range of your hearing with the hearing test. Then, use Pitch Match to challenge your tonal memory by matching a tone you'll hear to a tone you'll create using a dial control. 

Now ‘Ear This: explore a model of the human ear and learn how sound waves travel through these two important parts of your body.

Good Vibrations: manipulate frequency and amplitude controls to generate sound waves through an acrylic tube filled with Styrofoam beads. The vibrations set up a variety of standing wave patterns. 

Wrench Ball: it’s a large exercise ball turned musical instrument. Strike the wrenches connected to the ball to create different tones, much like a xylophone.

Noise is produced by ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.

Toys: The Inside Story

Toys: The Inside StoryIf your parents never let you break open your Etch A Sketch® to find out how it works, or if you’ve been wondering how to stop your toddler’s push toy from making such an infernal racket, you’ll love Toys: The Inside Story.

Toys includes 12 hands-on stations illustrating the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys, and lets visitors create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams, and circuits. With this exhibit you’ll discover:

What’s Inside Jack-in-the-Box? What makes Jack jump out of his box? Turn the crank on a real Jack-in-the-Box and watch live by video-cam as the worm gear and cam mechanism turn him loose.

The Magic Behind the Silver Screen: Ever wonder how an Etch A Sketch® works? Examine the toy’s inner-workings to discover how pulleys and wires guide the drawing tip.

Big Pulley, Little Pulley: Creative crazy optical illusions by connecting pulleys. Movable pulleys allow endless combinations and encourage discoveries about the relationship between pulley size and speed.

Circuit Wall: This area of the exhibit keeps you current with the basics of circuits, switches, and circuit boards. Challenge yourself to keep a circuit open as you move a ring along an angled rod. Now you know why it takes a steady hand to win at the classic game Operation®.

Gears at Play: Movable gears on a big table can set all sorts of magical things in motion. Can you figure out how to use different sized gears to make the twirling ballerinas spin as fast as possible?

Toys: The Inside Story was created by the Montshire Museum of Science and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Larger than Life

A variety of subjects in the natural world are explored in this collection through the unique perspective of photographs taken zoomed in at high magnification. Photographs provide a truly “up close and personal” view of flowers, leaves and a host of other specimens that will keep you guessing.

Larger than Life is produced by ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum and will be on display at Gateway Science Museum in the Valley Gallery from January through April 2012.