Educational exhibits to have temporary home in downtown Conway

Arkansas Discovery Network

Two educational exhibits from the Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery, will have a temporary home in downtown Conway.

Science & Art and Mystery of the Mayan Medallion have been featured in some of the top children’s museums around the country. This spring, the exhibits will occupy 5,000 square feet at 1101 Oak Street – located on the southwest corner of Oak and Chestnut Streets – from Monday, Feb. 18, until Sunday, May 5.

Admission to the exhibits is free, thanks to a partnership between Nabholz Construction, the Conway Convention and Visitors Bureau, Conway Downtown Partnership, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Toad Suck Daze and its presenting sponsors Cherokee Nation Entertainment and First Arkansas Bank & Trust, and the Museum of Discovery.

The museum space will also be available for field trips, by appointment, Monday through Friday from Feb. 19 until May 1. It will be open to the public on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The exhibits are tailored to students in upper elementary and middle school and should offer 45-60 minutes of engagement for approximately 25 students.

Educators who are interested in scheduling a private field trip to Science & Art and Mystery of the Mayan Medallion can email fieldtrips@conwayarkansas.org. Additional exhibit-related curriculum and support materials are available. Several Conway restaurants are also offering specials for box lunches or group dining.

The Exhibits

New Exhibit Explores the Relationship Between “Science & Art”

Science & Art is an exhibit by the Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock.  What does Origami have to do with geometry? Why is a worm considered art to some? How is music created from a micro-chip? And how can a nanometer of water become a fun, interactive experience? All these questions and more will be answered in the new Science & Art exhibit on display at 1101 Oak Street in downtown Conway.

Science & Art is organized into five areas featuring projects created by artists who have specific masteries in scientific studies. The displays are designed to show that art and science have a lot in common. Visitors will also experience how art can be used to convey scientific ideas and phenomena and will experience science from a fresh point of view.

The first stop in the gallery features Origami sculpture work by Robert Lang, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading origami masters with more than 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. Lang’s work shows how following simple folding rules and some basic mathematical principles allow for the creation of a complex and beautiful 3D world of art made from paper. Visitors may fold their own works of art to take home or leave for display in the gallery’s “visitor art” section.

Next, visitors will be directed to the “Beautiful Worm,” which combines biology and photography, offering a unique window into the world of scientific research as interpreted through art. This part of the exhibit showcases research of the C. elegans worm by Ahna Skop, Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics at the University of Wisconsin. A real microscope with a video head allows visitors to look at live specimens and illustrates what researchers such as Skop have learned from this creature.

Electric Materials Bench at Science & Art Exhibit

Visitors will also enjoy the creations of 1-Bit Music inventor Tristan Perich. The 1-Bit is part art, part physics, and part mathematics. 1-Bit compositions are delivered to listeners via an on/off switch, micro-chip, battery, earphone jack, and volume control all squeezed into a plastic CD case.

Wearable computers can also be found on display in “Science & Art.” Leah Buechley, assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), uses electronics and textiles to build soft wearable computers. A display of Buechley’s work allows visitors to select and see the different LED display patterns designed and programmed into the fabric.

Rounding out the exhibit is electronic artist and computer scientist Scott Snibbe who introduces visitors to the concept of the nano-scale. “Three Drops” is a multimedia experience that requires participants to move in front of a large screen to interact with projections of water at the macro, micro, and then nano-scale and allows them to experience how the physical properties of water change at these three different scales.

Science & Art will remain on display in downtown Conway through May 5, 2019.

Embark on an Archeological Adventure at the "Mystery of the Mayan Medallion"

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion is an exhibit by the Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock.

The secrets of an ancient world await in Mystery of the Mayan Medallion which opens at 1101 Oak Street in downtown Conway on Feb. 18.

In this immersive exhibit, visitors are transported to Palenque, Mexico, where an archaeological team has mysteriously disappeared from a dig site while investigating rumors of a priceless jade medallion. They will follow the clues the team left behind to locate the precious medallion while avoiding the dangers lurking in the ruins.

In the exhibit, visitors will be able to perform the following hands-on activities:

  • Translate glyphs
  • Discover which rainforest animals are poisonous
  • Learn how the Mayans recorded dates
  • Take rubbings from a sarcophagus
  • Interpret a “battle” mural

Exhibit components include archeology, biology, and astro-mathematic field stations; an observatory; and a tomb area that yield clues to the medallion’s whereabouts.

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion has been popular everywhere it’s been experienced, and we know museum visitors young and old alike will enjoy engaging with the many components of the exhibit,” said Kelley Bass, CEO of the Museum of Discovery. “It is a fun mix of science, history and intrigue.”

Mystery of the Mayan Medallion is an exhibit by the Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. It will remain on display in downtown Conway through May 5, 2019.

About Discovery Network

The Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery, provides high-quality professional development and training opportunities to its members’ educational staff. The Discovery Network allows the Museum of Discovery to support outside educational entities in providing quality science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education to their learners. Learn more at thediscoverynetwork.org.