Since 1992, the Da Vinci Science Center has been educating people of all ages about the wonders of science and how various sciences can positively impact lives. Countless people from all over the Lehigh Valley, the Philadelphia metro area, and as far as New York City and beyond come here every year to engage with the Center’s variety of exhibits and programs. If you’re the type of parent who likes to supplement your child’s school education with educational experiences outside of the classroom, a visit to the Da Vinci Science Center is a must. School field trips are also popular here. Our Allentown adoption agents love bringing our families here to learn new things. Some of our favorite current exhibits include:
PPL Electric Utilities Energy Zone
The PPL Electric Utilities Energy Zone features six interactive exhibits which help us learn about how energy works. These exhibits draw comparisons between the energy we use in our bodies and the electrical energy we use in our homes:
- Energy Dance Floor – In this exhibit, participants are divided into teams and compete to see who can create the most energy by jumping and dancing on the floor tiles, which light up in different colors.
- Why Sparks Fly – This exhibit is modeled after Jacob’s Ladder and includes two high-voltage electrodes with a widening gap. Participants use a fan to control an electrical spark climbing between the electrodes.
- Finger Tingler – The Finger Tingler is a generator station which produces voltage as visitors turn a crank, feeling the electricity flowing through the finger pads.
- Electricity at Home – Features hand crank generators which allow visitors to power three types of home light bulbs and learn about how much energy each type requires, along with which types of bulbs are most efficient.
- Circuit Blocks – At this station, you can build different types of circuits using simple electrical pieces.
- Glow Room – This room is painted in phosphorescent colors, creating shadow effects of participant bodies after a light is flashed on them.
Engineers On A Roll
The Engineers On A Roll exhibit is an enriching experience designed for preschoolers. Here, your youngest kids can learn about technology, math, and engineering while playing in a fun environment featuring an engineering lab, playscape, and climbing space.
The Wave Power exhibit features a 16-foot-long water tank, which is used to teach visitors how the kinetic energy of ocean waves can be converted into electricity. Participants make waves at one end of the tank and watch as they travel throughout the rest of the tank, passing over Wave Energy Convertors (WECs) which generate electricity. The WECs in this exhibit are models of devices that energy scientists are currently developing, which can be used as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.
In this fun and educational exhibit, participants have the chance to create their own stop-motion animations. You can do this by moving objects on a stage and taking several still-frame images. The exhibit features a computer which allows you to compile these animations effortlessly. When you’re done, you can share your video on YouTube or email it to yourself.
Since the Science Center is named after a man who was both one of the greatest artists and scientists of all time, it’s only natural that they have an exhibit which explores the relationship between science and the arts. You can learn more about these connections through a series of three exhibits here:
Baum Art School Murals
The da Vinci Science Center features two large and colorful murals created by students at the nearby Baum School of Art in Allentown. These murals are visually striking and celebrate da Vinci’s brilliance in both fields.
Mona Lisa In Reverse
Created by an artist named Virginia Abbott of Sellersville, PA, the Mona Lisa in Reverse is a Bas-Relief sculpture of Leonardo’s legendary Mona Lisa in reverse using recycled materials. This was produced by first creating a clay relief model in two dimensions, followed by a plaster casting.
The Fossil Wall
The Fossil Wall is presented by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. It features a composition of 21 wood and metal reproductions of prehistoric leaves and plants, created by Rudy Ackerman, Ed.D. of The Baum School of Art.