From Here to There

Jonathan Abel learns how hot air balloons work Saturday at the From Here to There exhibit at the Children’s Museum and Science Center.

The Children’s Museum and Science Center at the Imperial Centre has introduced a new exhibit that is sure to pique the interest of those with small, busy hands.

The traveling exhibit, From Here to There, explores the science of how things move by land, air and sea.

The exhibit is comprised of 12 different hands-on activities that provide children with an opportunity to engage with familiar methods of transportation such as planes, trains and automobiles.

However, the exhibit will introduce future forms of travel that includes magnetic levitation and hovercrafts.

The Children’s Museum changes traveling exhibits two-to-three times per year on average but this one is unique in that it offers a fun exploration of the science behind going places. Curator Leigh White said the museum is “always looking for new exhibits that give visitors an opportunity to have hands-on fun while learning science, technology, engineering and math concepts.”

She said the exhibit offers activities such as learning about how the Earth moves. This is an activity where children move balls around using simple machines, then move on to more complicated machines such as a hover chair. Children can then move themselves around and float over the ground with this activity.

“The exhibit’s goal is to encourage a child’s excitement while exploring scientific concepts related to their everyday lives,” White said. “From Here to There introduces children to the concepts of force, motion and energy and houses several hands-on stations designed to teach kids the law of physics.”

That is exactly what Rocky Mount resident Becky Abel is hoping for her 2½-year-old grandson, Jonathan. While Jonathan was busy playing with a boat in a small pool of water, Abel explained what she hopes her grandson can take away from his experience.

“I love that he is having fun, but I’m glad he is gaining a basic understanding of how things work,” she said.

Lawrence McLean, museum assistant, hopes children not only leave the exhibit with basic knowledge of motion. McLean said he “hopes older visitors come away with a bit more in-depth understanding, like having fabric on a boat is the only thing that makes it move with the wind.”

From Here to There will be at the Children’s Museum and Science Center until May 10. Normal hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6 per person and includes planetarium shows.

For more information, call 252-972-1266.