You can't see it, and you can't always feel it, but the movement
of air affects us and our surroundings all the time. AirPlay
is a set of highly interactive exhibits that allow visitors to develop
an intuitive understanding of how air moves, how moving air affects
objects in its path, and how, in turn, objects affect the movement
of air. The exhibition is specifically designed to foster interaction
among family members and groups of peers, and to allow visitors
to make discoveries about air both in active and subtle ways.
Ten exhibits provide a variety of experiences. Air blowers propel
bright yellow foam balls through air mazes; an anaconda-length section
of transparent hose provides a tube tunnel to demonstrate how air
moves through tubing, angles, and tees; model sailboats move along
a tabletop, driven by the force from a bank of fans; and an air
cannon shoots a puff of air all the way across a room.
Visitors can paint a wall of fluttering "shimmer disks"
with a spray of air, and race balls through paths of two different
shapes to see the effects of turbulence. Where does the air in a
vacuum cleaner go? Visitors make discoveries about how objects are
picked up in an air stream and balance objects on multiple streams
of air. Finally, Ned Kahn's Aeolian Landscape provides a quiet place for
extended observations of how moving air can sculpt a landscape.
Ball Floaters Photo by Scott M. Fisher
AirPlay was developed by the Montshire
Museum of Science, in Norwich, Vermont, as part of the TEAMS (Traveling
Exhibits at Museums of Science) Collaborative, with funding from
the National Science Foundation.
Air in, Air Out
1,500 square feet
Two 20-amp circuits
for a 12-week booking