Last week I got the chance to head up to the Mobius Lab: Hands on Science Center at NorthTown Mall. Finally, someone got science right! I realize that a 24-year-old college graduate (that's me) probably isn't their target market, but they had me hook, line and sinker from the time I walked in and they gave me my "PassPort to Discovery." Hanging by a lanyard around my neck, my passport has a chip in it that is recognized by the computers at each exhibit in the lab so that when I walk up to a station the computer greets me by name. And don't worry; it's a nice computer voice, not a creepy computer voice. These same computers keep track of your progress as you work through the stations. Then, when you get home, you can enter your key (number found on your passport) at http://mymobius.org/ to see the information you've saved, check top scores and learn even more about the exhibits.
Speaking of exhibits, where the heck were these when I was sleeping my way through science class?! Like the Geology Lab. Using a low-frequency vibrating base plate, this exhibit causes sand to move and shift like it does in the dessert. You can even throw in random items and see how the sand cycles them through and moves them around. Much more interesting than that poorly made movie "Sands of Time" that I watched in sixth grade science, which by the way sounds more like a soap opera. But my favorite lab by far was the Magnetics Lab. Created by a guy out of Hayden Lake, it teaches you about magnetism, its sources, properties and practical applications while (get this) . . . launching objects with an electromagnetic catapult! How sweet is that! I wish I had more time to talk about the Motion Lab, the Energy Lab, the Chaos Lab, the Audio Lab, the touch-screen computers and the fun, interesting factoids. But take my word for it - they're awesome! And for those of you who decide not to go, thinking that books or Bill Nye movies will do the trick, science can't even describe how wrong you are.
Here's what you need to know:
-Mobius Lab IS NOT permanent. It will only be open until the end of September.
-Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 9pm, Sunday 10am - 6pm
-Location: NorthTown Mall, ground level, near Barnes & Noble
-Who's it for? The Web site says ages 8-108, and they didn't lie. There's something new for every age to learn!
-Purpose: Mobius Lab was developed to be a place that made science fun with hands-on learning (mission accomplished!). It also serves as a sneak peek at the future Mobius Science Center, scheduled to open in 2012. Located on the north side of the Spokane River, the 56,000 sq. ft. science center will be one of the premier science exhibits in the Pacific Northwest and will feature a digital theater, labs, classrooms, café and store in addition to its many exhibits.
At this time I want to say thank you to Mobius Lab. Thank you for being untraditional. Thank you for blowing away the negative stereotypes associated with science. And most importantly, thank you for making science fun again.