AURORA, Neb. — We recently spent 90 minutes as the only visitors in the Edgerton Explorit Center.
There's so much to discover and do in this science exploration center we could have stayed much longer.
It's dedicated to the late Harold “Doc” Edgerton, an Aurora native who taught electrical engineering for decades at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Exhibits detail some of his inventions, including ultra-high-speed, stop-action and flash photography, and the side sonar scanner. Edgerton used the scanner in underwater exploration with fellow inventor and longtime friend Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Some of Edgerton's inventions and famous photos — the compression of a football as it's kicked, a bullet bursting through an apple and more — are displayed. (If you have a smartphone, you can use the QR codes on the exhibits to learn more than the displays tell.)
Among the hands-on explorations are a Bernoulli experiment to try to keep a ball in the air alone or as dueling Bernoullis, a water flume to raise and lower a “river” level, an oversized Operation game so several people can play at once, oversized human anatomy pieces to more easily study, an X-ray board to see similarities and differences in bones of various species, a bubble pit to try to encase yourself or someone else in a bubble, a domino racing-reaction space, a flight simulator for ages 4 and older (licensed pilots say it's realistic), a coin vortex, a thermagram wall so that your shadow stays after you leave, a doodle glow tube and stop-action photography of a balloon bursting as you prick it.
“This is a great place for family fun,” said Mary Molliconi, executive director of the Edgerton Explorit Center. It takes an average of three hours for children to explore the center in one visit.
The center reached 63,900 children from January through May of this year through museum visits and Edgerton On the Move, the center's traveling science programs, Molliconi said. Visits to schools spanned the state, she said.
Explorit is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Group tours are available weekdays by reservation. General admission through 2013 is $5; children younger than 4 are admitted free. The center has a small gift shop.
For more information, visit edgerton.org or call 402-694-4032.
Edgerton On the Move will be in Omaha from Sept. 26-29 at Ak-Sar-Ben's River City Rodeo & Stock Show. The hands-on, science-based learning experience will be in the Grand Ballroom of the CenturyLink Center.