Take a walk through the rain. Or run. Hang by your fingertips. Dodge a “bullet.” Find out how often the buttered side of the toast lands face up. Or down.
Even if you are not a fan of the Mythbusters TV show, you and your family will have fun—and learn something about science—at Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (www.dmns.org). You know it’s good when you see parents waiting in line to try out some of the experiments without their kids.
For the uninitiated, Mythbusters is a weekly show on the Discovery Channel in which two special effects experts conduct experiments to prove (confirm) or disprove (bust) various theories. The show is science entertainment at its best with crazy stunts like trying out a motorized surfboard (lots of “Don’t try this at home” warnings accompany their show and this exhibit), building a working canoe out of duct tape, cooking a holiday meal on a running car engine and lots of other silly and slightly dangerous experiments.
The exhibit shows off actual parts and pieces of the TV show set and kids get a chance to do hands-on harmless experiments themselves. How fast can you change into your superhero costume in a phone booth? How long can you hang by your fingertips from a narrow ledge? I lasted all of three seconds (!) hanging from a ledge. Yes, my 8-year old lasted longer than me on that experiment. We also had fun running and walking through a rain machine, then counting the number of drops we each had on our clothes (a phosphorescent substance in the rain glows when viewed in the mirror).
If you need a rest from slipping the tablecloth out from under a table set with dishes or building a house out of “bricks” or “straw” then check out the live paintball experiment show. None of the actual stars from the show are present, but audience participation in guessing (hypothesizing) make this totally engaging too. Along the way, we were learning about friction, gravity, speed and more on this Sunday morning.
Make sure and leave time at the end of the exhibit for the gimmicky photos you and the family can take together. Once we hit the gift shop, I personally could not resist the books full of DIY science experiments we can do at home together.
The show is up through Jan. 5, 2014. Check the museum calendar for special events tied into the exhibit such as an adult only night on Nov. 6 and teen only event on Nov. 22.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
Museum open daily
9 am – 5 pm