Two new exhibits will touch down at the Portland Science Center, bringing with them the excitement of space exploration and interactive robotics. SPACE: A Journey to Our Future and The Robot Zoo will open to the public on Friday, January 29, 2016.
“With SPACE, we’re taking Mainer’s to the moon,” said Joe Gold, President of The Gold Group, which owns and operates the Portland Science Center. “Or, more accurately, we’re bringing the moon to them—as well as Mars and the universe. With THE ROBOT ZOO, we’re illustrating the real-life characteristics of animals and insects through interactive robotics. These exhibits are visually stunning and educationally stimulating.”
SPACE: A Journey to Our Future, which contains actual rocks from the surface of our moon and the planet Mars, is presented in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA).
The exhibit, which shows exciting applications of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), examines amazing discoveries and explorations from the past and introduces visitors to today’s explorers who are shaping our future destiny in the universe. Installed on the third floor of the Portland Science Center, the exhibit features family-friendly interactive displays, immersive environments and state-of-the-art projection and audio technology to bring space exploration to life.
- Touch the Moon and Mars! Touch actual rocks from the lunar surface and the red planet
- Guests can take a spin on a centrifuge that’s powered like a bicycle
- Get an up-close look at a wide range of artifacts from NASA’s space program
- Experience the past, present, and future of space through these and dozens of other displays and interactive experiences
SPACE: A Journey to Our Future is created to ignite interest in space exploration and discovery by sparking imaginations and inspiring new generations of explorers to dream of the possibilities that lie ahead. The exhibit contains a strong educational component geared towards ages 7 – 17. Educational materials to accompany student visits are also available for teachers and schools.
THE ROBOT ZOO takes over the second floor of the Portland Science Center, where children can interact with robotic creatures. Recommended for ages 4 and older, this exhibit reveals the magic of nature as a master engineer. Three robot animals and seven hands-on activities illustrate fascinating real-life characteristics, such as how a chameleon changes colors and how a fly walks on the ceiling.
- The larger-than-life-size animated robots, including a chameleon and a platypus.
- Robotic housefly with a 3-foot wingspan.
- “Swat the Fly,” a test of the visitor’s reaction time (one-twelfth as fast as a house fly’s)
- “Sticky Feet,” where visitors wearing special hand pads can try to stick like flies to a sloped surface.
- “Tongue Gun” demonstrates how a real chameleon shoots out its long, sticky-tipped tongue to reel in a meal.
Machinery in the robot animals simulates the body parts of their real-life counterparts. In the robot animals, muscles become pistons, intestines become filtering pipes and brains become computers.
With SPACE and THE ROBOT ZOO, the Portland Science Center continues its mission of bringing unique, engaging, and exciting exhibits that both educate and entertain.
“Since the opening of the Portland Science Center last September, more than 50,000 visitors have come to see our premiere exhibit BODY WORLDS. We’ve had families and student groups coming from as far away as Presque Isle and Vermont,” added Gold. “We look forward to bringing even more excitement to downtown Portland.”