Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is a collection of small science-themed museums and exhibits. The Science Center’s stated goal of promoting science literacy is achieved through educational programming, thought-provoking IMAX films, and over 150 interactive exhibits.
The following exhibits constitute the centerpiece around which the rest of the science center revolves: My BodyWorks, Explore Tec, Hands On Hall, BioLab, and Wharf of Wonder.
My BodyWorks features more than fifty custom-designed interactive exhibits and claims to be America’s most advanced health gallery. Included are a giant 12-foot-high My Beating Heart, which simulates a cardiac arrest; Augmented Reality, a 3-D image of the heart you can hold in your hand; and a virtual surgery center.
Hands On Hall is the Exploreum’s original exhibit with more than 50 interactive exhibits. Here, visitors learn about optical illusion, calculate their chances of winning the lottery, witness and control the power of electromagnets, and much, much more.
Wharf of Wonder is designed for the youngest of scientists, where kids up to age 5 only see the world through a lighthouse, go on a fishing expedition aboard a sea vessel, and sort and weigh caught sea creatures at the local fish market.
Explore Tec is a unique, state-of-the-art lab that helps kids learn and grasp the basics of engineering and technology. The lab includes 24 laptops, 3D printing, software for 2D and 3D mechanical design, and GEARS kits that stimulate kids to take on actual engineering and robotics challenges.
BioLab is interactive laboratory where students perform real health and biology experiments. Students can look through microscopes, perform table-top experiments, and enjoy informative demonstrations that entertain. Bi-monthly themes health and nutrition, anatomy, human body systems, physical fitness, and more.
Strange Matter, on display until September 2012, allows visitors to uncover the world of materials science. More than a dozen experience pods show visitors innovative modern materials such as Aerogel (the lightest material ever made) and Atomic Force Microscopes, investigate applications of modern materials in surgery, and ponder whether or not a strand of silk could really stop a 747, and more. Strange Matter brings modern science to life.
Currently showing through September 2012 is Tornado Alley, a film showing storm chasers pursuing tornadoes as they try to understand what causes tornadoes and how they evolve. Viewers are taken into the heart of a tornado to see how scientists gather data and draw conclusions about these destructive storms.
Just in time for summer! Amazing science camps start around mid-June. There are specialty camps for kids of all ages (pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade), from engineering and forensics to sports and the arts, there’s something for everyone. Camp times are 8:30 to 3:30 throughout the summer.
The Exploreum is usually open daily form 9:00 to 5:00, yet I would recommend calling in advance of your visit (251) 208-6873. The Exploreum is also be closed for the usual national and local holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mardi Gras.
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