As of March, 2013
The word "science" comes from the Latin word "scire", which means "to know". Related words include omniscience, which means all-knowing, and conscience, which means "with knowledge". So - science means "to know", which generally refers to knowing about the world around us. The exhibits at the World of Wonders Science Museum, whether for educational display or for hands-on interaction, are designed to foster a knowledge about, and an appreciation for the wonder of the world around us and how it works.
All of the WOW exhibits now have a permanent home in the museum thanks to the generous support of people like Jim Pyers, who builds exhibits for the WOW, and other local donors who fund the purchase of new exhibits. A brief description of each of the exhibits follows:
Molecular Buffering- The ball bearings in this exhibit represent molecules. The warmer molecules become, the faster they move. The cooler molecules are, the slower they move. Materials with fast moving molecules tend to be gases. Materials with slow moving molecules tend to be solids. In between are liquids. Adjusting the speed of the ball bearings represents molecules heating up (speeding up) and/or cooling (slowing down).
Sound Blocks- Tune Blocks break music into various groups of notes. Create your own melody from the pre-configured tune blocks on the computer screen.
Bubble Table- No one is too old or too young to enjoy making bubbles. Try using different shaped bubble-makers. Does the shape of the bubble blower affect the shape of the bubble? Does the size? What shape is a bubble in the air?
Lego Raceway- This is a great interactive exhibit where you can construct a Lego race car and race it. How can you build a racecar that will go fast, go straight, and not fall apart halfway down the ramp? Learn about friction, engineering, and efficient construction.
Delayed Conversation- This exhibit actually confuses your brain. It is habitual to hear yourself speak. When sitting across from a partner, and talking into the microphone, the words you hear in the earphones become delayed, making conversation very difficult.
Sonic Range- Sonic Range uses sound to vibrate copper powder, creating a small scale volcanic landscape complete with rift zones, sub-ducting plates and eruptive fissures.
Broken Triangle- There are seven red pieces of this puzzle. Arrange them all inside the wooden frame to form a triangle.
Ring on a Loop- There is one solution to move the ring from one loop on a rope to the other loop of the rope by pulling, crisscrossing, and rearranging parts of this puzzling puzzle.
Communication Table- This exhibit involves two people. One person sits on each side of the table. This exhibit encourages clear communication between the two people. The object of the activity is for each person to form the identical designs on their individual trays from triangles, half circles and squares.
Low Frequency Light- White light is broken up into its component colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) and the spectrum is cast upon a heat-sensitive liquid crystal screen. The crystal screen changes color when heated. Beyond the red portion of the spectrum, the liquid crystal material changes color, demonstrating the existence of invisible infrared radiation. Filters can be placed in the spectrum to see how they affect the infrared and visible portions of the spectrum.
Using different shapes and colors visitors, experiment with reflection and refraction and other ways in which light behaves.Plasma Ball-
A clear glass orb, filled with a mixture of various gases at low pressure that generate high-frequency alternating current. A smaller orb in its center serves as an electrode. Plasma filaments extend from the inner electrode to the outer glass insulator, giving the appearance of multiple constant beams of colored light. Placing a hand near the glass alters the high-frequency electric field, causing a single beam to migrate from the inner ball to the point of contact. Donated by K.R. and Robbie HovatterShake Table-
Visitors construct a building on the table out of blocks. Visitors then simulate an earthquake. When built directly on the table, there is very little stability. When built on the ball bearing sheet, most of the impact is absorbed and therefore the building is able to withstand stronger earthquakes.Zoom Optical Microscope-
A large microscope that projects onto a screen and allows visitors to look up close at the various available specimens. Donated by den Hartog Family Parabolic Dishes-
By facing these dishes, visitors can talk to each other from across the room without even looking at one another.Push and Pull-
Using this example of a vacuum system, visitors decide whether a push or a pull has the most effect on the balls movement, or if both together do the best job.Flight Simulator-
Although the video of flight is not actually controlled by the joy stick and switches, this was once an actual Navy F-14 Tomcat static training simulator. Donated by Bill MeehleisCrane Diorama-
This display shows birds and other animals in a natural habitat. Owned by the Crane Festival and Lodi Unified School DistrictRecording Display-
Take a visual walk through the history of recording, starting with listening to the worlds first recording and up through the technological improvements of today.Computer Chip Display-
This exhibit shows the evolution of the computer chip. Magna Tile Play Station-
Always a favorite, these plastic tiles can be used to build castles, towers and many other shapes. Donated by the Hohenrieder FamilyWedgits-
A manipulative made of plastic inter-fitting pieces made for building by younger visitors.Ferro Fluid-
An oil with iron particles in it, making it magnetic. Turning the two wheels moves the magnets in the exhibit up and down to make the oil dance and defy gravity.Turntable-
A large disk rotates. Small metal disks, rings and balls are scattered around the stationary portion of the table top. Visitors try to keep the balls and rings spinning on the disk. A ring spinning on edge may stay on the turntable for a while, orbiting the center. A disk laid flat will move in a straight line as soon as it slides off the turntable. Visitors, especially children, love the challenge of getting the disks and rings to stand on edge on the Turntable. Donated by K.R. and Robbie HovatterConvection Current-
This is a water tank, heater and light source. The tank sits between a light source and a screen. When the heater is turned on, the water heats and rises due to convection. A beautiful display of the convection results is shown on the screen.Cloud Ring-
Pushing down on the large plate with a hole in the center launches a ring of vapor up to the ceiling. The ring is generated by the friction between the holes edge and the vapor flowing through the hole forming a vortex. Donated by Joe and Susan MaleyHand Battery-
Placing one hand on a copper plate and the other hand on an aluminum plate will demonstrate that electrons can move through your body to complete a circuit. The amount of electric current that flows through you can be observed on a meter.Bird in the Cage-
Learn about afterimages when your eyes play tricks on you by making a bird appear in a photo of an empty bird cage. This experiment reveals that an image stays with you even after you have stopped looking at that image.Wind Tube-
This is a playful and inventive way to explore airflow, drag, symmetry, turbulence, air resistance, and gravity. By making observations about the ways in which an object behaves in the air tube, new designs can be constructed and immediately tested. Seeing common objects such as strawberry baskets and plastic containers behave in surprising ways leads to unexpected experiments with these things.Lung Machine-
This exhibit demonstrates how the lungs fill and empty of air by contraction and relaxation of the diaphragm muscle. Two balloons attached to a y-tube simulate the lungs.Zoetrope-
This is a device that produces an illusion of movement by quickly changing pictures of things that are standing still. Draw your own cartoon of motion using special framed strips that you will place in the zoetrope to reveal stop motion animation.Electric Table & Circuit Workbench-
This display will define electricity by demonstrating magnetism and static electricity. Experimenting with resistors and capacitors will demonstrate how they work. Circuit Workbench provides an open ended experience for visitors to create simple circuits. The visitor can connect lights, switches, fans, buzzers, and bells to create circuits using wires attached to power supplies.The Bernoulli Principle-
A plastic beach ball floats on a stream of air blowing out of the cone. If the ball is pulled slowly out of the stream of air, a force is felt trying to pull the ball back into the air stream. If the cone is bent to the side, the ball can be suspended in space off to the side of the cone. The ball is strongly held in the lower pressure stream of air. Donated by the Hohenrieder FamilyBike Gyroscope-
A visitor sits in a rotating chair and holds a rapidly spinning bicycle wheel by handles attached to the center hub. As the visitor tips the bicycle wheel to one side, the chair begins to rotate either right or left, depending on the direction the wheel is spinning. The bicycle wheel can also be hung from a freely rotating cable. Instead of flopping down (which it will do if it isn't spinning), it remains upright and "revolves" around the suspension cable. This exhibit shows the strange attributes of spinning gyros. Any object that spins will hold to its axis until a force is applied from outside.See Your Retina-
This exhibit allows visitors to actually look into their own eye and observe the retina, which is the inner membrane of the eyeball.Two-Faced Exhibit-
An activity in which two people sit across from each other and observe each other through a dividing, clear barrier. As each participant adjusts the lighting, the image they see changes.Pin Cushions-
A large multitude of pins are suspended in a frame. By pushing a hand or other items up on the pins from the underside of the frame, the shape of the item is revealed. Two sizes of pins show differences in pixel resolution.
Let's Go Legos-Participants design and construct vehicles out of Legos and then race them to the finish line down a 16' track. Donated by Kelly, Shelli and Billy BrownMarble Works-
Pathways can be made for marbles to travel through. Construction pieces in a wide variety are available to construct interesting tracks for the marbles.Speed Dominos-
If you want your dominos to fall faster, should you set them closer together or farther apart? If you give more force to the first domino, will they all fall faster? This exhibit provides the opportunity to experiment with dominos and an accurate digital timer to discover variables of kinetic energy.
Can You See Your Voice-
Since your voice produces vibrations of sound waves through air molecules, you will be able to see your voice with this exhibit. With help of mirrors, a diaphragm and a laser you will be able to see patterns of your voice on a screen.Listen to your Heart-
By placing your hands gently on the brass hand prints, this exhibit senses the tiny electrical signals of each pulse of your heart beat. Your heart pumps blood throughout your body. Your heart beat per minute (bpm) can vary as the body needs oxygen, such as during exercising. Donated by General MillsJacobs Ladder-
When electricity flows through the rods, it creates a charge in the air, so electricity jumps from one rod to the other, colliding with molecules in the air, creating a spark. A 15000 volt transformer produces the spark that starts at the bottom of the rods and travels up. Why is the spark traveling up? The spark is very hot, heating the air. Since hot air rises, it carries the spark with it. When the spark reaches the top, the distance between the rods is too great and the spark breaks up and another spark forms at the bottom.