At the grand opening of the
The pavilion houses the interactive, neuroscience-focused "Your Brain" exhibit -- a permanent installation that opens Saturday -- in addition to conference and education centers and exhibition spaces for traveling shows such as "Circus! Science Under the Big Top" and "101 Inventions That Changed the World," which also debut Saturday.
"It is going to be a day packed with activities, special events, food, music, and . . . all presented in that very special
A ribbon-cutting at
There will be myriad free activities throughout the museum, including a wide-scale app-based scavenger hunt. All participants receive a brain-themed puzzle, and if they complete the search, they are entered into a raffle to win a yearlong family membership to the museum.
Those at the opening can also test their minds with brain-benders given by the Brain Waves science team, and ogle the antics of stilt-walking and juggling circus performers. Or they can marvel at magician
But it's not just fun and games. True to the legacy of its namesake, the
"As much as we're really excited about opening up the new building and the focus it provides, particularly with emphasis on neurology in 'Your Brain,' when we celebrate the opening, we want to celebrate it in
Saturday's schedule consists of a range of activities related to "Your Brain," "Circus!", and "101 Inventions." A Brain Bar cart will feature real specimens and models of human and animal brains. Mentalist Max Major will demonstrate his talents, in conjunction with the museum's chief bioscientist, Jayatri Das, who will demystify the role the brain plays in how we perceive magic. Statues of scientists and inventors who won the
The opening will be exhilarating not only for the public, but also for the institute team members involved in orchestrating it.
"I look at this full list of all these different things that are going on and it's kind of, for lack of a better way to say it, . . . mind-blowing to see how much is going to be going on and just how festive it's going to be and how excited our staff is about coming together to celebrate everything that the
In addition to the scavenger hunt, there are several other stand-alone opening-day events: "The Wonderland of Science," a display of 80 historical artifacts from the curatorial vault that encapsulate the museum's eight decades on the Parkway, and Wasabi 3-D art installations, optical-illusion images that bring reality-defying scenarios to life. Visitors are encouraged to snap pictures with the street art-style mats -- which make them appear to be jumping off of a building into a giant hole or crossing a bridge between two mountains -- and share them via social media.
"Without getting too philosophical, we have a mission here, and that mission is to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology," Collins said. "We are not going to sit somebody down and read out of a textbook. We are not going to teach them scientific concepts or make them solve math problems, but what we do is bring science down to what we call an informal level, where people can have fun with it."
The celebration continues on Sunday, with repeats of a handful of the most engaging activities: the scavenger hunt, Brain Waves' puzzlers, the Brain Bar, and Design Challenges inspired by "101 Inventions" that let guests design flying machines and buildings and get an up-close look at a 3-D printer.
Grand opening of the
Admission: Free for the first 500 guests to arrive. After that,
Museumwide scavenger hunt, Design Challenge (inside "101 Inventions That Changed the World"), and jugglers and stilt-walkers roaming through "Circus! Science Under the Big Top."
The Brain Waves science team roves the museum all day.
At 1:30 and
Eye and heart dissections will take place throughout the day in the Giant Heart exhibit.
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