Make Things Explode at DMNS' New "MythBusters" Exhibit

October 2013

Got your attention? OK, so your kids (or, let's be honest, you) won't actually be able to make things explode. But there's still plenty of neat stuff to experiment with at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition

Based on the Discovery Channel show, the interactive exhibit teaches visitors about the scientific process–by testing, repeating, trying another method—without being in-your-face-obvious that it's a learning experience. TV show co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman were involved in the creation of the traveling exhibit (which features some props from the set and TV monitors displaying experiments from actual episodes). "This exhibit is more about the process you undergo than it is about 'What is the answer?'" says senior educator/coordinator Eddie Goldstein. "You get a good idea of how you do science. And it's a great place for having fun."

Four not-to-be-missed experiments:

  • Do you get less wet by running or walking in the rain? You may think you know the answer—but why not see if you're right. Pair up and send one person running and the other walking through parallel paths of glow-in-the-dark fake rain (you'll feel a little wet for a minute or so after, but the "rain" only shows up under blacklights and comes out in the wash). Then, stand under the blacklight and see who got "wetter."
  • Can you actually dodge a sniper bullet? Test your reaction time by standing against a wall until a strobe light "fires" and see how long it takes you to move out of its path. 
  • Is Clark Kent the only man who can change at superhuman speed in a phone booth? Find out as you put on a cape, boots, gloves, and all your superhero gear—in a true-to-size phone booth. How fast can you get in superhero attire?
  • How hard is it to avoid a paintball? In this live demonstration (pictured, right), an audience member will be brought on stage (protective gear will be provided) and asked to stand at the end of an aisle. The volunteers will then set up a series of tests where the audience member must try to jump out of the way of a shot from a machine (simulating a paintball gun) to see how far away a shooter would have to be in order to have time to get out of the way. 

If only high school science class had been so entertaining. 

Details: Tickets cost $16 (junior/student) to $22 (adults) and include museum admission and the special exhibit. These are all timed tickets—to ensure there aren't too many people in the space at once—so reservations are encouraged. MythBusters will be open through January 5. 

—Images: © Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Follow associate editor Daliah Singer on Twitter at @daliahsinger