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Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab: Red Dirt Dinos and Math + Music, Review

The Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab, located in historic Owen Park, is an interactive and collaborative space that inspires children and connects the community. Through its exhibits and programs, Discovery Lab inspires children and encourages critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration while providing an enriching and educational play-space for children of all ages. Now on exhibit in the Featured Hall is awe-inspiring Red Dirt Dinos, and the Main Hall holds a Discovery Lab original exhibition titled Math + Music.

Red Dirt Dinos is an animatronic dinosaur exhibit guaranteed to wow children and adults alike! The exhibit explores the dinosaurs that once inhabited Oklahoma. Children are able to collaborate to excavate fossils in a sand pit using brushes as they explore the science of how paleontologists unearthed the bones and fossils of these giants. The dinosaurs themselves even come to life as you move through the hall, learning the biology of the creatures and the location and migration of the species.

As you enter the Discovery Lab’s Main Hall, the original exhibition Math + Music captures your attention with musical hammock swings, a synchronized dancing station, and the always popular tape tunnel and slide with a brand new net climb to access it! The Main Hall exhibitions at Discovery Lab are designed, built, and installed on site. The creative, collaborative, and critical thinking exhibits are unique to the Discovery Lab and exhibited for a year at a time. Math + Music “encourages visitors to explore the patterns and mathematics in music and instruments.” Within the exhibit, visitors can collaborate to create a song using pendulum hammocks that swing to activate different segments of a song. Visitors use problem-solving skills to discover which swings create which sounds.

Another popular area is the sound wave exploration station. Visitors experiment with nodes in sound waves using a string and vibration amplitude. As the visitor increases the amplitude, the string vibrates until it forms a wave. The amplitude determines how many nodes and antinodes appear on the string. The nodes are points on the wave appearing stationary, and the antinodes are the highest and lowest points on the wave. This is visually shown on the string, and the visitor explores how different amplitudes affect the wavelength and the occurrence of nodes and antinodes. This is a great interactive exhibit for both children and parents!

Written by MSM Student Angie Williams

Red Dirt Dinos
Excavation station in Red Dirt Dinos
Sound waves shown with water in Math + Music
Exploring pitch in Math + Music