In Explorit Science Center’s Challenge Center, ordinary items that most of us normally would throw away get transformed into wondrous creations fusing science and imagination. Plastic bottle caps become wheels for innovative vehicle designs while egg cartons turn into pigs, sheep and other barnyard friends.
The Challenge Center unleashes creativity while inviting visitors to experiment with physics, test their materials’ functionality and see the objects of our everyday lives in entirely new ways. Explorit chooses these everyday materials to demonstrate how science is a part of our daily lives.
The activity of scientific inquiry and experimentation doesn’t just happen in a sterile lab with high-powered, specialized equipment. It can happen anywhere, any time someone asks how a flower produces pollen or wonders how a heavy airplane can take flight. The process of transforming an ordinary object like a milk carton into a planter, a barn, a bridge or a car can inspire wonder and inquiry while making the process of scientific experimentation feel accessible.
You can support the imaginative activity of the Challenge Center by collecting and donating recyclable items that will become the raw material for our design challenges. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes, plastic water and juice bottles, egg cartons, cracker and cereal boxes, and plastic caps and lids are in constant demand.
Explorit will accept donations of recyclable items for the Challenge Center through Friday, Feb. 15. Please make sure that all items are thoroughly clean and dried, and ready to use before dropping them off. You can bring your donations to Explorit at 3141 Fifth St. during our regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays or 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Paper or foam plates, wooden or plastic clothespins, wooden craft sticks and toothpicks also will be featured materials in some upcoming construction activities in February. This month will be all about football and farm tools.
The Challenge Center is a regular feature of our museum experience and is free with paid admission to the exhibition.
* Football and Farm Tools February: Each weekend in February from 1 to 5 p.m., Explorit will feature a special football or farm-themed activity for visitors, free with paid admission to the museum. On Feb. 2-3, visitors will build a football field goal; on Feb. 9-10, they’ll make a wheelbarrow; on Feb. 16-17, they’ll create a paper roll tractor; and on Feb. 23-24, they’ll make a crop-dusting airplane.
* Presidents Day: Explorit will be open Monday, Feb. 18, from 1 to 5 p.m.
— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information, call 530-756-0191 or visit www.explorit.org