Kathryn and I headed into town Thursday to the Durango Discovery Museum.
The museum is fairly new and has some exhibits still under construction. When I first walked in, I mentally raised my eyebrows at the somewhat smallish size. Then Kathryn started walking around and the next thing I knew, three hours had passed! And we didn’t even make it outside to the garden exhibit.
It may be a small space, but all the exhibits are hands on and Kathryn touched nearly every one of them. Of particular interest was the Good Time Clock; a perpetual motion machine with large silver metal balls that traveled over the entire contraption. Each area had a distinctive noise, all of them loud. This occupied much of Kathryn’s time.
Other exhibits she enjoyed had to do with solar energy, magnetic energy, and coordinating a power grid to provide energy for a city. In the back corner of the museum is a tree like climbing apparatus that lets the young children get a bird’s eye view of Durango.
There is also a digital microscope, a teletype machine, a Legos robot display, an animation station, and this odd machine that blew air out of a tube over which you could suspend objects. This was also a hit with Kathryn and many of the other kids we saw that morning.
The Expandagon was a rather interesting toy.
The gift shop is in one corner, just a few shelves and not glaringly obvious, a refreshing change from other museums we’ve been to.
Don’t let the small size fool you; there is plenty to occupy the child and the adult in this gem of a place.
There are many things to see at the Durango Discovery Museum.
For example, the wind power exhibit displays a Styrofoam ball being held midair by the wind to demonstrate the power of an updraft.
This is only one of many interesting exhibits.
There are many other things, such as the exhibit that shows perpetual motion in the form of many small metal balls running on tracks, or the model of planet Earth that displays natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.to teach about the destructive effects of them.
There are also hands-on demonstrations, like the display that shows the photovoltaic effect, in which you have a solar panel, a wire, and a Lego creation. You connect the two with the wire and put it under the light and the Lego object begins to spin.
Or the Power Grid exhibit, that show how cities used to be powered, where you synchronize wavelengths and match the amounts of power. In a real situation, synchronizing the wavelengths would have made the same amount of steam go through two tubes and into the generator, which would have made the magnetic wheel spin. The circular motion of the magnet beside the copper next to it would have generated electricity. Then, matching the power to the needed amount would have powered the city.
Our trip to the museum was very interesting, and I hope to make it again.