a virtual bobsled ride on an Olympic-style run.
Angeles - In a society often obsessed with moving
at an ever faster pace, the exhibit SPEED chronicles
this cultural and technological fascination with a 6,000
square-foot experience that transports guests into the
world of high performance, barrier smashing motion. SPEED,
a national traveling exhibit, opens at the California
Science Center on October 2 and continues through December
cars, planes boats and eccentric custom vehicles, are
featured in the exhibit which engages guests of all backgrounds
and ages. The experiences focus on the science and technology
of pushing the envelope to achieve record setting speed
while explaining the limits of getting there. Visitors
learn the way speed affects objects, for example, the
Penny Smasher actually allows guests to see the
affect of speed during rapid deceleration (slowing down).
How does speed effect human beings?
throughout the exhibit highlight people who have tested
the limits of speed and the resulting consequences. Air
Force Colonel John Paul Stapp has done what no one before
him dared to do. He survived a rapid deceleration totaling
45 g's in a controlled experiment. Stapp went from 632
mph to 0 mph in 1.4 seconds, causing bruises over 90%
of his body, including the inside of his eyelids. The
exhibit also follows ongoing attempts to break the sound
barrier like the story of Cheryl Stearns, the twenty-one-time
US women's skydiving champion, who is preparing to accomplish
this unusual feat.
Exhibit's Five Sections
exhibit, created by COSI Columbus with support from the
National Science Foundation and the Science Museum Exhibits
Collaborative, presents five sections.
- This area investigates speed as a quantity. What
is speed and how fast do we achieve it? What are the
features that enhance or retard speed? What are the
mathematical relations that govern the concept of
going fast? In Go! guests can build their own car
to find out how different designs impact speed and
experience Carvolution to find out how design has
affected 90 years of Indianapolis 500 winners' times.
- The causes and consequences of rapid deceleration.
What happens when speed vanishes? What does it mean
to say that stopping is really accelerating? Guests
will hear stories of what its like when racecar drivers
Hit the Wall and crash. They will also get to smash
pennies with the Penny Smasher to find out what happens
to objects during rapid deceleration.
- Despite Newton's Laws, common experience shows us
things slow down. Here we find out why. What are the
various impediments to speed, both on solid ground
and in the air? In Drag! guests can Spin Their Wheels
while they try to manage friction relative to speed
and learn how aerodynamics help vehicles preserve
- Explore the sources of speed and where it comes
from. How do you get speed and how do you keep it?
Guests learn about g-force, acceleration and thrust
and how they effect how fast we go. Visitors climb
into the Bobsleds and feel the effects of a human
push and build their own roller coasters to find out
how design can give them the push they need to go
- Strange things happen at high speeds, things that
defy common sense. Find out just how fast the speed
of sound is and why we call the speed of light the
ultimate barrier. Here watch and listen as a cord
is pulled on a bullwhip to create a sonic boom and
break the sound barrier.
the exhibit closes in Los Angeles, it will travel to
Boston, Massachusetts and Ft. Worth, Texas.
Note to Editors: The California
Science Center is located at 700 State Drive - Exposition
Park, Los Angeles. Enter visitor parking at 39th &
Figueroa Street; parking is $6 per car. Activities are
on all three floors of the Science Center. Open daily
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to Science Center exhibits
is free. For general information, phone 323.SCIENCE
(323.724-3623) or visit our website at http://www.casciencectr.org/.
Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair