Visit Science Central to dive into a world of hands-on science fun. Whether you are conducting a hands-on experiment in the Do Lab or making a splash at the water table, the interactive learning opportunities are endless!
The Climbing Tower & Slide located in Science Central spans several floors, offering the chance for play and large motor skill development. Please note that this is a busy, high-traffic area that can be accessed from both the first and second floors. This means that children can freely enter/exit the tower area from both the second-floor landing and the base of the slide. There is no cordoned off area at the bottom of the slide. For those with small children, it is recommended that grown-ups either: 1) accompany them up the tower and down the slide, or 2) bring more than one adult in order to supervise your child(ren)’s play from both levels.
Is science your favorite subject? If so, then you need to pay a visit to the Do Lab. Here, a knowledgeable staff member from the Education Department will lead you through all kinds of gross, fun, and startling interactive science experiments. One day, you may make a baggie full of slime; on another trip, you may go home with some homemade snow, even if it’s the middle of summer! No matter what experiment you and your child perform, you’re sure to have fun in the Do Lab, where education and entertainment mesh perfectly—and where understanding science becomes the cool thing to do.
In this semi-enclosed room on the first floor, fun, catchy music plays while a rainbow of colors slips across a special screen, the "Color Wall". Kids of all ages enter to dance and move in front of the screen, and an amazing thing happens—your form blocks out the colors moving across the Color Wall, so your shadow moves right along with you, right in front of you! At the Color Wall, experience the phenomenon of color recognition and detection—and learn a few things about rhythm, too.
Curving around a large area of the first floor is the Water Table, a fully interactive exhibit where your child can begin to learn some basic principles about water and its properties. As a sign in the exhibit explains, by playing with water, your child learns how to predict how liquids respond to gravity and the forces of push and pull.
Water play also teaches your child about pressure, motion, critical thinking, and problem solving. Here, by manipulating water, you can learn what sinks, what floats, what moves slowly, and what moves quickly; your child will gain a basic understanding of both water’s properties and also how to work with those properties, as they strive to construct devices that stay afloat in the Water Table.
In the Manipulative Area of Science Central, you and your child will learn about points, lines, and curves through rubber band art! A large pegboard is set up with stretchy bands of fabric below the pegs, and your goal is to create shapes and designs on the pegboard by stretching the fabric bands from one peg to another. Here, you will explore the fundamentals of shape formation; according to the sign in the Manipulative Area, all lines and curves are made of series of points, and all shapes are made of curves and lines. In the Manipulative Area, what kinds of lines, curves, and shapes will you make, using only bands and pegs? Design your own, or follow the patterns provided for you.
Harvest the energy of the wind, Sun, rain and Earth in a new eco-friendly home, located on the first floor of the Boonshoft Museum. The PNC Be Green House features “green” technology that allows visitors to experience life in a low-impact 21st century house, explores how to incorporate naturally-renewable materials into daily life, and showcases emerging technologies in architecture, design, engineering and construction.