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Moving Things


Everything moves – the earth and stars, cars and trucks, you and me – but how and why? Keeping things moving efficiently raises the stakes of the game, right? Here are just a few of the incredible and unusual experiences you will find in the exhibition Moving Things. It’s a moving experience, just give it a try!

Hey! How many rubber chickens fit into a cubic yard? Play the game here!

  • Traffic: How do I get there: 3 miles by highway or 2.5 miles on back roads? Besides distance, traffic is a big factor in picking the best route from point A to point B. What determines if traffic moves smoothly or jams up? At an exhibit similar to an air hockey table, try managing a steady flow of traffic by putting discs of different shapes and sizes in motion. Can you avoid traffic jams and tailgating?

  • Packing a Pallet: It’s easier to move things efficiently when they can be packed into a uniform shape that fits on a pallet. How closely things pack and stack -moredepends on how well you can minimize the gaps in between. Bring some friends and see how many you can you pack inside a square meter – hope you’re “close” friends!

  • Turntable: Ever try to get off a merry-go-round while it's still in motion? Rotating objects have unique properties, which can help you on your way or knock you off your feet. Try placing rings, disks and spheres on a rotating turntable. Do they go where you predict? How long can you make them stay on the turntable without falling off?

  • Packing Parcels: Moving things efficiently means making as few trips as possible. The more you can pack into a container, the fewer trips you have to make. A packing plan might take a few extra minutes, but it could save you time and effort overall. Test your brain and see if you can arrange the colored shapes into a solid block that fits the space with no gaps.

  • Streamlines: Moving things through air or water takes energy. The faster the motion and the bigger the object, the greater the resistance. Some vehicles are designed to be streamlined, meaning air or water flows past them more easily, saving energy. Try placing shapes in the stream of water. Which shapes does the water flow around the fastest?

  • Suitcase Gyro: And here’s the surprise: did that suitcase move on its own? We’re not telling so you’ll have to come and find out for yourself!

Copyright © 2016 Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science