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20-May-2015

Edgerton Explorit Center brings fun into the equation

PHOTOS COURTESY EDGERTON EXPLORIT CENTER

“Whoa!  Come watch this.” “I get it!” or “I didn’t know that is how that worked!” These are common phrases one might overhear around the Edgerton Explorit Center. Nebraska and Aurora native Harold "Doc" Edgerton, creator of the strobe flash and side scan sonar, was a champion of those interested in learning and trying out their ideas.

“Teach in such a way that the students don’t know they are learning 'til it is too late.” Doc Edgerton understood how important doing is to learning. His ideas and his educational encouragement are the legacy and foundation on which the Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora is built. Nebraska’s hands on science museum focuses on education and learning through play with hands-on activities, mind-blowing demonstrations and interactive exhibits.

The very fabric of time is lost at Edgerton Explorit Center, where one could get lost in exploration for hours. The center features three primary exploration areas: The Explorit Zone, theatre and Strobe Alley.

The Explorit Zone is filled with many interactive exhibits designed to provide insight into various scientific principles and phenomena. In the past two years, the center has added more than $180,000 worth of new, hands-on exhibits, including a state-of-the art flight simulator with a motion platform, giant bubble tubes, Mars Rover, interactive projection system, plasma wall and much, much more.

In the theatre, visitors of all ages become fascinated with the world of science while experiencing interactive science presentations demonstrated by the center’s mad scientists/educators. Demonstrations include Arctic Blast, Amazing Bubbles, Stopping Time, Sparks, Good Vibrations, Astronomy Anywhere, PSI and Go Show. The mystery and fun of learning come to life in the Theatre, whether you’re 2 or 92. The theatre is open for bus and group tours, special events and by reservation.

Strobe Alley features the life and work of Doc Edgerton. The alley is the home of Edgerton’s historic photographs, including the famous Milk Drop photo, as well as his laboratory equipment and information about his work at MIT and explorations with Jacques Cousteau.

The center’s traveling science program, Edgerton On The Move Program, travels to schools, libraries, special events and festivals across Nebraska. Programming can consist of a science demonstration to a Science Discovery Day which includes our traveling Explorit Zone with 30 hands-on exhibits for students to interact with and up to six demonstrations. The traveling program helped the center reach over 160,000 teachers, students and individuals in 2014 and is on pace to exceed that number in 2015.   

Another great way for the center to stimulate a love for learning is by giving students an opportunity to take part in summer camps where learning can take place in a fun, pressure-free and test-free environment. With this goal in mind, the Edgerton Center has expanded our summer camp offerings and is planning a super awesome summer of science.

The Center has 22 summer camps planned for 2015, targeted for all school-age students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education will be incorporated in all of the programming and we have a wide variety of offerings in areas such as animal science, art, exercise science, agriculture, engineering, robotics, communications, art and even cinema.

Our hope is to ignite students' passion for science and education through our programming and create a love of lifelong learning. Additional information and camp registration is available at edgerton.org/summercamps.

Throughout the year the Center also offers labs for home-schooled families, after school programs, birthday parties, Super Science Family Saturdays, and special events.  

Visit edgerton.org for additional information about the Edgerton Explorit Center, Doc Edgerton and our programming and events.


About the Authors

Mary Molliconi
Executive Director, Edgerton Explorit Center
Mary obtained her BA in communications and art at Hastings College. She is passionate about children and education.

Jessica Brock
Educator/Mad Scientist
Jessica received her BA in human services administration and MA in teaching from Hastings College. She teaches demonstrations for Explorit's summer camps, classes and demonstrations.


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