Wolf Man's Ghostly Graveyard
Central Concept: Energy and Fuel Sources
Central Character: The Wolf Man (Lon Chaney)

Outside of Dracula's Library lies the Ghostly Graveyard, its scattered tombstones visible through several arched windows and passageways. In the graveyard, visitors unearth the mysteries of fuels and other earthly energy matters in an exploration of the various forms of fuels that create energy and electricity. The Wolf Man, experienced with transformations himself, guides visitors through energy conversion concepts.

The tombstone structures house interactive exhibits. A visitor-powered water turbine demonstrates how hydroelectricity works. Museum goers squeeze "organic matter" to create coal and feed fuel to lightbulbs to keep them lit. Visitors start chain reactions to simulate the behavior of nuclei during the nuclear fission process. A spin of the globe identifies the abundance (or lack) of fossil fuels and presents alternative fuel sources. The interactive computer station, available in English or Spanish, presents more fuel facts and quizzes.

Scenic Elements

  • Standing Figure of Wolf Man (Lon Chaney)
  • Broken stone grotto wall serving as entrance from Dracula Library
  • Gravestones (each housing interactive exhibits)
  • Painted graveyard backdrop with large translucent moon and dark thunder clouds
  • Broken faux stone wall
  • Thunder and lightning overhead

Exhibition Components

  • Water Turbine
  • Natural Gas
  • How Much To Light the Bulbs?
  • Geiger Counter
  • Multimedia Computer Station

 

Water Turbine
Hydroelectricity is demonstrated in this exhibit in which visitors generate electricity by spinning a turbine in a water tank. The energy of the spinning turbine is used to power a generator, which creates electricity to spin the motor, which, in turn, lights the lights. The water turbine demonstrates the conversion of potential energy, represented by the water in the top of the tank, to kinetic energy, represented by the moving water through the down tube and the turning generator. In the process, it also shows the conversion from mechanical to electrical energy represented by the turbine turning the generator.

Natural Gas
Visitors turn a large valve to simulate opening gas pipelines. When turned, a large map of the United States is illuminated with hundreds of colorful lines depicting the vast natural gas system in this country - enough miles of lines to circle the equator eight times.

How Much To Light the Bulbs?
This exhibit explores the amount of fuel needed to power an everyday need - light. Visitors pile chunks of coal onto a scale which, in turn, lights the bulbs, one by one. The more fuel (coal) used, the more energy released (light).

Geiger Counter
Visitors rotate a large Lazy Susan-like disc containing everyday objects to a Geiger counter. Objects include Fiestaware (orange from the 1950s), smoke detector and a Coleman mantle. The Geiger counter's clicking sound indicates radiation emissions from the common objects, demonstrating varying radiation levels in objects of everyday life.

Wolf Man's Multimedia Computer Station
This interactive computer station, housed in a tombstone monument, reinforces the concepts explored in the Ghostly Graveyard interactive exhibits:

  • Energy manifests itself in many forms. Mechanical (potential and kinetic), chemical, electrical, magnetic, nuclear and radiant energy are all different forms.
  • Energy can be transformed from one form to another.
  • Energy conversions are never 100% efficient. Some energy is lost in the form of heat, making some of it unavailable for further useful work.
  • Matter can be converted to energy. Enormous amounts of energy can be involved in this conversion process.
  • When energy is transformed from one object to another, or when one kind of energy changes to another, work and/or heat are involved.