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Below The Surface

Friday, February 1, 2013

STRANGE MATTER IS ALL AROUND US


STRANGE MATTER IS ALL AROUND US

Examining in a new way. 
On February 9th ECHO opens its newest traveling exhibit, Strange Matter! This is one of the most most interesting and totally hands-on traveling exhibits we've hosted in a while.

Strange Matter focuses on the amazing world of materials science or you can say it is all about the science of every day "stuff".  What kind of stuff?  Well, all kinds of stuff that scientists and engineers use to construct the cool things that make up our world. Many of us don’t think about these things very often but the metals in your bicycle, the glass in your smart phone and the foam in your running shoes all have unique properties – and you will be able to explore them at ECHO beginning February 9 through May 12!

Visitors "zooming" closer than ever.
One of the exhibit components I’m most excited about is Zoom. Here at ECHO, we have microscopes that can see things 200 times larger then they actually are. We’ve examined things like the weaving in a shirt, patches of skin, and a strand of someone’s hair. But that’s nothing compared to the Zoom station in Strange Matter. Zoom let’s us see things at 1000x or 10,000x.  I was amazed to see some of the world’s smallest machines – smaller than the thickness of your fingernail!

Using magnets to control fluids.
If getting up close to things doesn't peak your interest, how about playing with a magnetic fluid? Yes there are some fluids, called ferrofluids that you can move using magnets - so the appear to defy gravity! Strange Matter also has self-directed inquiry tables for you to explore things on your own, sound stations to see how different materials conduct vibrations, an area that examines different kinds of metals, scaled-up versions of atomic-sized structures, and detailed background videos so you can learn a little or a lot about the science of "stuff".

Strange Matter will be at ECHO from February 9th until May 12th and I, for one, can’t wait to get up close to the incredible materials that are a  part of our lives. 

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