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Discovery Place Science

In 1946, a school teacher named Laura Owens had a brilliant idea of letting her students experience firsthand the natural world. She began using the live animals and other objects from nature given to her by members of the community, mostly parents of her students. She then put up a small museum in Charlotte to fulfill her vision of a very unique way of teaching. The community was pleased with the idea and carried this project and made a Children’s Nature Museum.

It’s amazing to know that the spectacular Discovery Place had its humble beginning. Now, this place of knowledge and wonder has been hailed as the center for STEM program in the Carolinas.

Let’s find out the amazing things you and your kids or students can learn and enjoy from Discovery Place Science.

Discovery Science

This place has everything to offer for a curious mind. The first stop is the live show at the aquarium. Accompanied by a tour guide, let the kids meet “in the flesh” the different aquatic animals that they only get to see on books and TV programs. Showtime is from 2-2:20 PM is open to all ages.

The next stop is a lab-created for different living organisms. Here, the kids will learn about the relationships each species has with each other. How can they live on the same planet despite their differences? The lab has special residents like an albino neotenic salamander or the axolotl, a hairless rat, and a cockroach from Madagascar among others. There is an enormous tank where sea urchins and horseshoe crabs are. Students can even partake in the dissection activities and see the anatomy of animals and insects known to them. Also, the museums allow visitors to do their own experiments and observation.

Another exciting part of the trip is a visit to the BEING ME Exhibition. It will educate the kids on how the human body works. There is a virtual reality tour to the cellular level. You wouldn’t want to miss the human mirror which detects your body movement and will show your digestive, circular, muscular, and all other body systems. One of the attractions is a big hamster-formed wheel where you can spin to find out how exercise can really make you fit. It can even detect your heart rate. There is also a bone table where visitors are being challenged to put the bones back to its proper places. To see the real human brain, heart, and other internal body parts all plastinated will leave you in awe.

This next step is for those who want to tickle their imagination. The Think Up exhibition will let the guests do the experiment, with no instructions, and no rules. There are activities for groups such as making music by walking on light sensors, or they can make art using a LED light. There is a laser harp that actually produces sound and the sound quality is adjustable. There is a “junk” section where you can try to create different things. The sky is the limit, you can use all the “trash” that is in there. Try to decorate Dali and experience how it is to be a sculpture. This 4-feet-tall work of art has open areas in it for the guests to work on. Think it up exhibition is on the 2nd floor of the museum and is open to all ages.

The last stop at Discovery Science is the Explore More Collections Lab. Visitors can have a peek at the 80,000 non-living collections which include a 4-million-year-old Amminoid Fossils. Be amazed at the 3,000 spiders that had been liquid preserved. Not everything in this lab can be shown to the public but rest assured that you can have a taste of the ancient days with all these wonderful collections. The most exciting part is, visitors, get to participate in the process of discovering objects and connect it to the natural world. That thrill of finding something that is rare and wonderful cannot amount to anything.

You can find the Discovery Place Science in uptown Charlotte. You may use a car or a train, or simply walk in. You can bring the whole family, or your whole class and open their minds to all the wonders of this world.

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