WRITER | LISA BECKER CAMPBELL
PHOTO | KRISTIN SQUIRES
Renowned for its trademark of uniting science and art, the Alden B. Dow Museum in Midland is adding athletics to the line-up this fall, with the STEM Center Science of Sports exhibit September 14 through January 5, 2020.
This past summer, the Museum partnered with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and DOW to create the STEM Center for Kids, a five-component hands-on interactive exhibit that explores the scientific aspects of sports, such as speed, friction, and mass.
“We are very excited about this new, engaging, and entertaining look into athletics, along with our other fall exhibits,” stated Julie Johnson, Director of Museums at the Midland Center for the Arts.
In addition to the STEM Center Science of Sports exhibit, the museum will host Forever Forest, an exhibit that explores how we use the forest to live, work, and play. Visitors will learn about sustainability, selective harvesting, transportation needs, and the everyday products we use that are made from trees. Families will be able to scale the treetop climber, use a grapple skidder to maneuver logs, play the role of a conductor or yard worker to load and unload a train, finish building a house or trim a floor, and imagine they are transporting products at the train table, according to Johnson.
Art enthusiasts will enjoy the 58th Greater Michigan Art Exhibition, a juried display. This exhibition is for Michigan artists in all media to partake in a juried selection of the best work in the state. The finalists will be showing their works September 20 – November 9, according to Johnson.
Past exhibitions have included such unique installations as Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs, The Art of the Brick, and Grossology. Over 50,000 visitors and students explore the gallery, exhibitions, outreach programs, arts fairs, and special events each year. The museum’s year-round programming includes a 450-gallon saltwater aquarium and exhibits such as:
-The Young Explorers Corner, where early learners (ages 5 and under) are encouraged to learn through exploration and hands-on play with the goal of inspiring a life-long love of learning.
-The Hall of Ideas, a three-level interactive space designed especially for students and their families that outlines the evolution in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
-The ViewSpace Exhibit in the Discovery Zone, where visitors view the latest from outer space through recent photos from the Hubble Space Telescope, news from NASA’s observatories, programs from the Space Telescope Science Institute of Baltimore, and more.
-Spark!Lab®, the wildly popular exhibit space sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, which proclaims that “Everyone can be an inventor.” Activities marry traditional STEM projects with art, museum, and creativity, and on-site guides help visitors master challenges and create their own unique inventions.
Last summer’s challenge explored an important, relevant topic in the region: creating a way to clean up plastic from the Great Lakes. Visitors were invited to try ideas on a “mini-lake” filled with floating bits of plastic.
The museum also explores the connection between music and science in exhibits where visitors can make music using light beams with a Beamz Player, where “no strings are attached!” They can play an electronic keyboard, drumsticks, or electric guitar for a musical jam session, and much more.
This musical partnership is particularly appropriate because the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art is centrally located inside the Midland Center for the Arts, where musical performances routinely take center stage.
The Center has two stages and presents performances year-round including:
– The Midland Symphony Orchestra Series
– The Broadway and Beyond Series, which hosts today’s most thrilling touring productions
– The Center Stage Theater, home to outstanding locally produced theater
– The Windows on the World Series, featuring artists from around the world
– The Made in Michigan Series, presenting intimate evenings with significant entertainers native to the Great Lakes Bay region.
This fall, performances at the Center for the Arts include Peppa Pig Live on October 9, trumpeter Samuel Huss on October 12, and the Four Italian Tenors on October 20. November’s novel performances include Harlem 100, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Harlem renaissance, and Snow White Musicapalooza, an outrageously creative musical extravaganza featuring a variety of genres and musical styles as told by the seven dwarfs!
Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art and the Midland Center for the Arts
1801 West Saint Andrews Road, Midland MI 48640
(989) 631-5930 l MidlandCenter.org