Hands-on experience with gravity, sound and electricity are all a part of the Museum of Arts and Sciences interactive energy exhibit.
Sparks: Understanding Energy is on display in the Newberry Hall through March.
Many of the exhibits in Sparks focus on energy and with a specific focus on the science of electricity, said Melanie Byas, the museums marketing director. So everything there has to do with how energy is created or how it transforms.
The exhibit includes about two dozen displays that allow users to experiment with everything from electric current and simple circuits to parabolic whisper discs, the speed of sound and robotics.
Our mission is to be a place of lifelong learning so while much our focus is about educating children on science, technology, engineering and math, we find it also has a lot to offer adults, Byas said. A lot of the exhibits are fascinating.
One of the exhibits highlights is the Human Gyroscope, which uses three concentric rings to allow users to get a feeling of weightlessness. The gyroscope originally was developed by NASA as a training tool for astronauts.
While (the gyroscope) is technically a part of the Sparks exhibit and it does have to do with energy -- gravitational energy -- well continue to have that on display, Byas said. Its a really, really interactive display that we find people enjoy riding and weve enjoyed riding and testing it out.
The gyroscope, which is displayed in the lobby, is open to anyone who is at least 48 inches tall and weighs less than 300 pounds.
The Sparks exhibits displays are all from the former Fort Discovery National Science Center in Augusta, which closed in 2010 and relocated to Washington, D.C.
A museum board member who knew about the National Science Center move suggested the Museum of Arts and Sciences look at some of the exhibits.
It was fortuitous that we were able ... to go over and look at them and determined it would be a perfect fit, Byas said. We were able to purchase many of those and keep them in the state.
Last year, staff members and volunteers began cleaning, repairing and testing the displays. The exhibit opened Oct. 13 in conjunction with Georgias Careers in Energy week.
They are interactive displays and were finding that both children and adults enjoy them, Byas said.
After the exhibit closes March 31, some of the pieces may eventually become part of a renovated Discovery House, which is the museums standing interactive area.
The museum completed a $1.1 million renovation of the Mark Smith Planetarium in March 2012 and hopes to begin work on Discovery House in 2013, Byas said.
As a staff, we are working toward that, she said. Many of the displays that are in Sparks and some of them that are in the warehouse will become a part of that renovation, but there is no target date for that renovation.
Sparks: Understanding Energy
When: On display through March 31. Museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays
Where: Museum of Arts and Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Road
Cost: Museum admission is $10 for adults, $8 for military and seniors, $7 for students and $5 for children ages 3-17
Information: www.masmacon.org; 477-3232