Nikola Tesla’s Birthday Party at tonight’s Museum of Discovery Science after Dark

ArkMod Dark TeslaNikola Tesla was born in July, and The Museum of Discovery wants you to have the party!  This month’s Science after Dark (tonight from 6pm to 9pm) celebrates his birthday and gives a once in a lifetime chance to experience the Guinness World Record musical bi-polar Tesla coil in the evening.

The tesla coil – named after its inventor Nikola Tesla, the developer of the alternating current system of electricity used today – is a device that creates high-voltage electricity at a high frequency visible to the eye.  The Museum of Discovery’s coil emits electrical discharges to a variety of songs and will share the record for the world’s largest bi-polar tesla coil with the coil at the Hands On Regional Museum in Johnson City, Tennessee.

The device, which can produce 200,000 volts of electricity, was built by Goodchild Engineering in Arizona and donated to the Museum of Discovery by Richard Mathias, founder and president of Tesla Coil Museum Exhibit Program, LLC, through a matching grant program from the General Electric Foundation.

“This world-record tesla coil will literally illuminate the work of this pivotal inventor and help the Museum of Discovery successfully fulfill its mission of igniting a passion for science, technology and math in our very interactive, hands-on environment,” said Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “We are grateful to Richard Mathias and the GE Foundation for making this opportunity possible for our museum and our visitors.”

The coil is housed in a new theater in the museum’s Discovery Hall.

Shows will be free but seating is limited so arrive early to get your ticket. Science After Dark admission is $5, free to museum members.  You must be 21 or older to attend Science after Dark.

Museum of Discovery unveils new musical bi-polar Tesla coil today

11659315_10153372349360138_6462500919140238842_nThe Museum of Discovery unveils a word record treat for the eyes and ears today with the new Guinness World Record musical bi-polar Tesla coil!

Also, on July 4, active and retired military can be admitted free to the museum and can bring up to three additional people for free.

 

The tesla coil – named after its inventor Nikola Tesla, the developer of the alternating current system of electricity used today – is a device that creates high-voltage electricity at a high frequency visible to the eye.  The Museum of Discovery’s coil emits electrical discharges to a variety of songs and will share the record for the world’s largest bi-polar tesla coil with the coil at the Hands On Regional Museum in Johnson City, Tennessee.

The device, which can produce 200,000 volts of electricity, was built by Goodchild Engineering in Arizona and donated to the Museum of Discovery by Richard Mathias, founder and president of Tesla Coil Museum Exhibit Program, LLC, through a matching grant program from the General Electric Foundation.

“This world-record tesla coil will literally illuminate the work of this pivotal inventor and help the Museum of Discovery successfully fulfill its mission of igniting a passion for science, technology and math in our very interactive, hands-on environment,” said Kelley Bass, museum CEO. “We are grateful to Richard Mathias and the GE Foundation for making this opportunity possible for our museum and our visitors.”

The coil will is housed in a new theater in the museum’s Discovery Hall.

There will be a $2 additional fee to experience the show in the Tesla Coil Theater. Through the end of July, it will be free for members.  After that, members will pay an additional $1.

Charles Morgan discussing MATTERS OF LIFE AND DATA to close the 2015 Arkansas Literary Festival

CDM-Book-CoverThe 2015 Arkansas Literary Festival comes to a close on Sunday, April 26 with a conversation between Charles Morgan and Kelley Bass.  These two longtime friends will be discussing Morgan’s book, Matters of Life and Data at 3pm in the Ron Robinson Theater.

Here is how Morgan describes the book:

“I didn’t set out to become a collector of your and your neighbors’ information. When I was growing up, nobody but egghead scientists talked about ‘data.’ It was the mechanical age, and I was a gadget geek, taking apart my cousin’s toys and trying to put them back together again. I was especially crazy about cars and engines, and had it not been for a fateful encounter during college recruiting season, I might’ve lived my life as a race car mechanic instead of learning about computers at IBM. As it turned out, pursuing Big Data allowed me the resources to become a professional race car driver on the side, competing against the likes of Paul Newman, who makes appearances in these pages as well.

“Such are the wonders of this journey we’re all on. Mine has taken me from the frontier of western Arkansas, where my ancestors owned a hardware store selling iron tools to westbound travelers, to the frontier of the digital age, where room-size computers have become eclipsed by the power of smart phones. And in a sense, the story you’re about to read isn’t so different from those of the colorful adventurers who stocked up their wagons at my family’s hardware emporium and headed west to make their fortunes. Data mining is the new gold rush, and we were there at first strike, dragging with us all our human frailties and foibles. In this book’s cast of characters you’ll find ambition, arrogance, jealousy, pride, fear, recklessness, anger, lust, viciousness, greed, revenge, betrayal, and then some.”

“It is a messy story. In the big picture, this could be called a narrative of America since World War II. But in the micro telling, think of it this way: The man who opened your lives to Big Data finally bares his own.”

BUILD IT LAB today and next 4 Saturdays at Museum of Discovery

NewMOD 021Starting today and continuing on Saturdays through February 21, the sound of hammering and sawing will fill the galleries of the Museum of Discovery during its latest project, “Build It Lab,” a hands-on exploration into the world of construction.  In partnership with AGC Arkansas, the state’s largest association of commercial contractors; University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and Home Depot, “Build It Lab” will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on five consecutive Saturdays, January 24 through February 21, and promises to offer visitors an interactive view into the many phases of construction ranging from framing to wiring to painting.

Museum visitors each Saturday will engage in five hands-on activities related to framing, waterproofing, plumbing, wiring, roofing, soundproofing and painting.  Some of these activities include an introduction to hammering and sawing, circuit blocks, marble runs and painting with the aid of stencils.  The activities will be facilitated by area construction professionals, Home Depot employees and museum staff.

In addition to the hands-on projects, students from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Construction Management program will build a playhouse, focusing on a different construction phase each Saturday.  Once the house is complete, the Museum of Discovery will donate the building to a school for their playground.

“The mission of the Museum of Discovery is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment,” said Kelley Bass, museum CEO, “and Build It Lab is going to give our visitors the chance to do just that as they engage in hands-on construction activities while also observing UALR students building the playhouse that later will be awarded to an Arkansas school.”

“Workforce development continues to be a topic at the forefront of the minds of many Arkansans,” said Richard Hedgecock of AGC Arkansas, “We are proud to partner with these great community leaders to open the eyes of young people, and their parents, about the possibilities offered to them through construction careers.”

“Build It Lab” participation is included in regular museum admission.  For more information, visit www.museumofdiscovery.org or contact 501-396-7050.

Explore Mayan culture at Museum of Discovery

MayanThe secrets of an ancient world await in Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, the Museum of Discovery’s summer exhibit, which opened on May 24.

In this immersive exhibit, visitors are transported to Palenque, Mexico, where an archaeological team has mysteriously disappeared from a dig site while investigating rumors of a priceless jade medallion. They will follow the clues the team left behind to locate the precious medallion while avoiding the dangers lurking in the ruins.

In the exhibit, visitors will:

  • Translate glyphs
  • Discover which rainforest animals are poisonous
  • Learn how the Mayans recorded dates
  • Take rubbings from a sarcophagus
  • Interpret a “battle” mural.

Exhibit components include archeology, biology and astro-mathematic field stations, an observatory and a tomb area that yield clues to the medallion’s whereabouts.

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion has been popular everywhere it’s been experienced, and we know museum visitors young and old alike will enjoy engaging with the many components of the exhibit,” said Kelley Bass, CEO of the Museum of Discovery. “It is a fun mix of science, history and intrigue.”

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion will remain at the Museum of Discovery through September 12.

Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.

Museum Information

Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 1-5 pm; Closed Monday

(open Mondays in the summer and on major holidays)

Admission: $10 adults; $8 ages 1-12; free under 1; members free

Tech City is new exhibit at Museum of Discovery

techcityLogo_4CInvent, design, create and build in Tech City, the Museum of Discovery’s new exhibit which opened last Saturday, February 8.

Tech City features 12 interactive stations that allow visitors to solve problems that engineers face each day on the job.

“One of our goals at the Museum of Discovery is helping young people establish a clear line of sight between science- and technology-related activities and careers in important, rewarding fields like engineering,” said museum CEO Kelley Bass. “In Tech City our visitors will engage in some of the day-to-day tasks engineers take on and see that these activities can be fun and challenging.”

In Tech City, visitors can build structures that will withstand the force of an earthquake; use a computer program to adjust simulated traffic flow by changing traffic light timing; engineer with sound in a studio with effects and instruments and play the recordings back; dam a creek to prevent flooding; build a bridge and more. The exhibit also includes a play area for young museum visitors.

Tech City is supported in part by Garver and will be on display through May 11. For more information visit http://www.museumofdiscovery.org or call 501-396-7050.

Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.

Robotics focus of exhibit at Museum of Discovery

In science fiction, robots look like R2D2. In stores, they look like vacuum cleaners and robotic pets. On Saturday, October 12, visitors at the Museum of Discovery will see what robots look like in real life when the brand-new Robots and Us exhibit makes its debut. The exhibit will give visitors a lighthearted look at modeling artificial life after humans.

“Robotics is a growing field of research and an activity increasingly being undertaken by high school and college students around the world, including right here in Arkansas,” said Kelley Bass, CEO of the Museum of Discovery. “The museum is happy to have this very engaging, relevant exhibit for our visitors to explore and enjoy. We are glad to give our loyal fans another very compelling reason to visit us.”

Robots and Us encourages museum visitors of all ages to compare sci-fi fantasies of robots with today’s technical realities and to explore why it’s so hard to build robots to be like humans. Enjoy directing light-sensitive robots through mazes in the Robot Arena; experimenting with walking machines in the Leg Lab to learn how simple changes in anatomy can affect how they walk and handle obstacles; interacting with Lena, a computer-generated character and learning to race and outwit the Robot Arm.

Robots and Us will remain at the Museum of Discovery through January 26.

Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment.

Museum Information
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm; Sunday: 1-5 pm; Closed Mondays except major holidays and in summer.
Admission: $10 adults; $8 ages 1-12; free under 1; members free
Phone Number: 501.396.7050
Website: www.museumofdiscovery.org