With a paper cone, a pair of scissors and a straw, Ethan Henrickson, a 2-year-old from Chicago, built a “trombone” Monday morning at the Buffalo Museum of Science’s new interactive exhibit, Make Your Summer.
The “maker space,” which runs until Aug. 30 and features several hands-on science displays, is right up Ethan’s alley – he loves building musical instruments.
But those aren’t the only items you can assemble – or take apart – at Make Your Summer, which opened Monday. Visitors also can create shadow puppets, design a wall of color and play with giant blocks, among other activities.
Each week, the museum will host “Throwback Thursdays,” an event during which visitors can make pet rocks and other items from their childhood. And every Saturday, local people will teach visitors how to make different objects.
On “Take It Apart Tuesdays,” museum visitors will have the chance to disassemble toys and other gadgets. This week, Sunn- king, an electronics recycling company, supplied other items, including a TV.
“That’s how I learned a lot about things,” David Cinquino said about taking apart machines. Cinquino is the director of the exhibits team, which built the displays for Make Your Summer.
The exhibit also features a fishing derby made of old computer screens. Visitors use a “fishing rod” with a polarized film lens to see their catch.
The exhibit is family-friendly and aims to show people that there is such a thing as do-it-yourself science. A metal plate that displays different figures at varying sound frequencies was built with everyday items, including a hair tie and the cap of a spray paint can.
Make Your Summer also is safe. Guests can build a risk-free circuit with LED lights, a battery pack and a modeling clay that features a special ingredient: lemon juice, which conducts electricity.
Maya Reisch, a young Buffalo girl, built a long circuit and plugged in a battery pack at each end. She then realized not all the LED lights were lit up.
“I think the more lights you add, the less electricity goes through,” she said, adding that she enjoyed the display because she’s interested in science and likes learning how objects work.
Mikayla Redmond, 8, particularly enjoyed a device that resembles a homemade pinball machine. People can manipulate the gadget to direct a small ball through different paths.
Entrance to Make Your Summer is included in the ticket for museum admission. The display is free for Museum of Science members.