NEW Exhibit! Gear Up: The Science of Bikes at The EcoTarium!

The bicycle is an elegant example of basic science principles – forces and motion, energy, material science. Organized by Carnegie Science Center, we are proud to present GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes, a temporary exhibit opens on Saturday, May 18, 2019 and will run through the end of the year!

Exhibition Highlights

Bicycles have come a long way since the days of bloomers and velocipedes. Whether you’re speeding down a mountain or touring the town, our legs provide the power, and science does the rest!

Centripetal Force Seat
Visitors take a seat on a rotating stool, spin a hand-held bicycle tire, and see how the rotational forces move them as they turn the tire from a vertical to a horizontal position.

Gear Table
For younger visitors, a simple table of magnetic gears allows them to experiment with simple interlocking mechanisms of their own making.

Helmet Aerodynamics
Visitors watch three shapes race through pearlized fluid, seeing which shape’s design is the most aerodynamic, as it relates to helmet design.

Tire Treads
Visitors make their own tread rubbings, as they study variation in tires for variations in sports and terrain.

Coatings/Color Match
Visitors try to identify stop sign from a set of nine samples, seeing how the brain recalls color. In an accompanying display, as series of high-tech coatings samples runs the gamut of color and finishes.

Color Mixing Bike
Visitors change the ratio of three colored lights, to change the apparent color of some miniature bikes, to see how the eye perceives color, and how colors in the visible spectrum work.

Hit the Brakes!
Visitors put on the brakes on this spinning disk, using three different pads to see how materials affect friction.

Bike Body Xylophone
Series of tubes of different materials is ‘played’ by the visitor as they explore why bikes can be made from so many alloys.

Square Wheels
Hand-held ‘bike’ with square wheels can smoothly traverse terrain made of ellipsoidal hemispheres.

Gear Power
Hand-cranked set of gears produces electrical power, as visitors learn about the transfer of mechanical energy.

Chalkboard (Non-interactive)
An old school chalkboard explains the mechanics of bicycles on one side, and the transfer of energy involved when a rider hits the trail – from the sun to food to you to the bike!


About The EcoTarium
The EcoTarium museum of science and nature in Worcester, Massachusetts offers an indoor-outdoor experience to visitors of all ages. Guests are encouraged to explore three floors of indoor interactive exhibits, live animal habitats, exciting shows in the digital planetarium, daily science discovery programs, hikes through forest and meadow nature trails, outdoor imaginative play, and a narrow-gauge railroad Explorer Express Train. Founded in 1825, it has been a leader in informal science and nature education for nearly 200 years, and today still intent on inspiring a passion for science and nature, welcomes more than 175,000 visitors per year.

Gear Up: The Science of Bikes at the EcoTarium
222 Harrington Way, Worcester MA 508-929-2700
Exhibit open May 18 – December 2019
Click here for admission rates


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