Dive into the world of simple machines and construction with this brand new exhibit designed and built by DHDC. Get hands-on with heavy machinery and try constructing your own building as you become the architect, engineer and construction manager. Guests of all ages will create, play and learn while exploring the concepts of construction, motion and simple machines that make cities and towns grow! Hand operate a pulley or conveyor belt to explore cause and effect. Turn the wheels of a gantry crane to transport cargo and discover mechanical physics at work. Operate a child-sized crane to hook, lift and move objects and materials. Build structures with blocks, pipes and gears while learning about size, weight, shape, balance, gravity and stability.
Maker Metropolis was produced by the Don Harrington Discovery Center exhibits team and is generously sponsored by The Waite & Genevieve Phillips Foundation, Xcel Energy, Joe Soliz Masonry, Panhandle of Texas Chapter – Associated General Contractors, John Kritser and Happy State Bank. These in-kind donors also contributed to the production of this exhibit: L.A. Fuller & Sons, BMC, Amarillo Bolt, A-1 Rocket, Fabwright, and Texas Barricades &
ExploraZone engages learners of all ages with hands-on stations exploring a wealth of physics concepts, including force and motion, energy transformation, mechanics and perception. Visitors can construct and investigate the movement of a catenary arch, explore the science behind optical illusions, discover properties of periodic motion or examine the math behind movement.
We are excited to be one of the institutions across the country awarded a copy of the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibit.
This engaging, hands-on interactive exhibit is filled with dazzling imagery, and will connect you with current NASA science research and launch you on a journey to explore the universe! The Sun, Earth, Universe Exhibition was developed in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sun, Earth, Universe exhibitions are developed and distributed nationwide by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network).
How is Earth changing? What is it like on other planets? Does life exist beyond Earth? What’s happening on the Sun, and how does it affect us? Sun, Earth, Universe is a new exhibition about our planet, the solar system, and the universe, and the big questions NASA is trying to answer about each.
Sun, Earth, Universe includes fun and compelling exhibits for visitors of all ages. Follow the design-build-test cycle of engineering and build a model spacecraft for your own mission to space. Spin a tumbler of 10,000 beads, representing all of the stars we can see from Earth to search for the unique one that represents our Sun. Reveal hidden images using the same tools NASA scientists employ to explore the otherwise invisible forces and energy of the universe. Help younger visitors pilot rovers across the Mars landscape play table. These fun experiences (and many more!) introduce visitors to ongoing NASA research in the fields of heliophysics, Earth science, planetary science, and astrophysics, and encourage them to imagine what the future of Earth and space science might hold.
Nano engages visitors in nanoscale science, engineering and technology. Hands-on exhibits present the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduce real world applications and explore the societal and ethical implications of this technology. Visitors discover how different materials behave as they get smaller, work to build a giant nanotube and compare effects of static electricity and gravity on different objects.
Imagination Playground is designed to inspire children-directed learning. Giant blue foam blocks of all shapes and sizes, oversized cogs, wheels, spools and tubes stimulate creativity in children of all ages and inspire them to invent their own ways to play. Kids work together to create original structures and make up their own stories, rules and games. Younger learners practice skills such as hand-eye coordination; fine motor development; spatial awareness and foundational math and science thinking while older kids experiment with concepts of force, inertia, gravity, simple machines, measurement and geometry.
From a giant tennis ball launcher to a table top parabola, Bounce reveals how much there is to learn from a simple sphere. The exhibit features 35 hands-on learning stations which rotate on and off the exhibit floor providing visitors with new learning opportunities during every visit. A favorite with scientists of all ages, Bounce allows visitors to discover concepts of geometry, optics, sound, force, motion, acceleration, inertia, simple machines, planetary motion and more.
Located on the southeast side of DHDC’s front entrance, this outdoor science park features a fossil dig pit, hands-on learning, and engineering marvels. The Outdoor Science Park includes a gazing ball, whisper dishes, chair lift and the tennis ball launcher, a Kundu Drum, Grandioso Chimes, Kettle Drum, 2 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and many other pieces. This outdoor exploration space adds a dynamic space for school groups and families, filled with ample seating for a picnic lunch or snacks during your visit to DHDC. Park hours are the same as normal DHDC visitation hours, with the exception of inclement weather. Discovery Center regular admission includes access to the Outdoor Science Park. The grand opening of the new Outdoor Science Park is scheduled for September of 2020. Funding for DHDC’s Outdoor Science Park is provided by ASCO, Xcel Energy, and the Future’s Bright Donors.
Located just outside the Space Theater, The Space Gallery is dedicated to exploring weather conditions on Earth and beyond. Multimedia presentations reveal real-time data regarding weather conditions on Earth and explore the science of common weather phenomena. Interactive displays examine space weather concepts such as auroras, solar flares and cosmic rays and uncover their effect on the Earth.
Designed for our youngest scientists, KinderStudio is a permanent exploration space for children ages 0-6. Interactive, imaginative play areas feature a climbing structure, tumbling space with mats, a lighted performance stage, hands-on manipulatives (blocks, tubes, and toys) and raw materials for creative play (i.e. shells, pine cones and popsicle sticks).
Your visit to the DHDC will not be complete without meeting some furry and scaly friends. From a Bearded Dragon and Tarantula to a friendly snake we call ’Pinky’, Critter Row introduces guests to animals that come from different regions all around the world. Get an up-close look at these interesting creatures and you may even get an opportunity to touch one of them. Our trained Science Guides occasionally take the animals out to mingle.