The Mummy's Tomb
Central Concept: Conservation and Transformation of Energy
Central Character: The Mummy (as played by Boris Karloff)
The final section
of the exhibit is the Mummy's Tomb. An aficionado of insulation,
the Mummy is the perfect host for presenting energy-saving information
that visitors can utilize in their own lives and homes.
Here in the tomb - where one expects the physical to be converted
to the spiritual - the concept of the transfer of energy from
one form to another is explored. Visitors try their hand at adding
to a Rube Goldberg-type kinetic transfer machine which dominates
the room and incorporates a ball-fall device triggering multiple
energy transfer activities, sights and sounds.
As visitors exit this area, a life-size, moving Frankenstein
monster model is triggered by a motion sensor so that thunder
and lightning crackle as the monster's eyes stare back at usually
- Standing figure of Mummy in sarcophagus (Boris Karloff)
- Faux limestone/plaster entrance way with profile bas relief
and broken foot/nose
wall panels and black filler panels
- Six-foot Egyptian statue housing interactive computer station
- Twin lions flanking central broken arch
- Wrapped cardboard columns with Hieroglyphic pattern
- Panels with photo images of bas relief of full-length Egyptian
- Bicycle Generator
- Pneumatic Rocket
- Magnetic Pendulums
- Building a Better Pyramid
- Kinetic Transfer Machine
- Solar Energy
- Electricity Table
- Multimedia Computer Station
Visitors pedal a stationary bicycle to run a fan, light a light
bulb or power a 14-amp DC motor. An amp meter indicates how much
current the visitor is generating as he or she pedals, with certain
devices requiring harder pedaling to make them work. The concepts
of energy conversion - chemical to mechanical to electrical -
are explored in this bike ride.
This exhibit demonstrates storing potential energy and converting
it to kinetic energy by inviting visitors to power a rocket.
Visitors pump a lever to create compressed air. Then they release
the air in the form of an air blast, which shoots the rocket
from its resting state to the ceiling, if enough energy was stored.
Visitors swing one of two pendulums back and forth and notice
that the other pendulum starts to swing also. When a wire coil
moves through the field, it generates an electric current. This
current moves through the wires to the seond coil, generating
a new magnetic field. That field interacts with the field of
the magnet, alternately attracting and repulsing, causing the
pendulum to swing. The meter shows the voltage across the coil
the pendulum changes direction. A switch enables visitors to
change how the coils are connected, so they see that it is electromagnetism
that makes the coils swing, not vibration carried by the bar
connecting them. This concept is then brought "home"
for visitors as text and graphics explain: Electricity and magnetism
are closely interrelated, and we use this relationship to generate
the electricity we use in our homes. Steam created by the heat
of a nuclear or fossil fuel power plant drives turbines, moving
coils of wire through magnetic fields, creating electricity.
Building a Better Pyramid
This exhibit explores energy in hot and cool weather and relates
this information to improving energy efficiency in the home.
A metal pyramid with the heat source inside has four metal walls
insulated with different materials-plexiglass, wood, styrofoam
and metal alone. Visitors place their hands on each of the different
walls. Some walls are hot and some are cool to the touch, showing
how heat transfers through conductors or does not travel through
other materials which act as insulators. With the pyramid representing
a home with perhaps the furnace on inside, visitors discover
that wood is good insulator and not a conductor, for example,
and therefore a good material for building homes. As the exhibit
confirms, insulated wood is even better.
Visitors set up their own energy chain in this large, colorful
machine. They watch the ball move from ground level to the top
of the machine through the conversion of chemical to potential
energy, kinetic energy, sound energy and heat. Forms of energy
are demonstrated through sight and sound as visitors become engaged
watching the balls move through the energy chain. (It ends with
Visitors witness the conversion of solar energy into electrical
and mechanical energy by activating a light bulb, representing
the sun, which feeds solar cells which power an attached motor.
Museum goers step beneath a motion detector and watch the electric
discharge between two steel rods rise and then extinguish. The
electric arc is the same as that used in very bright lights,
such as florescent tubes and arc-lamp spotlights.
Mummy's Tomb Multimedia
This interactive computer program, housed in a six-foot faux
Egyptian statue, reinforces the concepts explored in the Mummy's
Tomb through lively multimedia lessons and quizzes. The concepts
- 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.
- In a closed system, the total amount of energy is always
- 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