When I heard a Mythbusters exhibit was coming to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, I marked my calendar for a day of fun! Being a fan of the show, the opportunity to try some of my favorite experiments at Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition meant I could finally “try this at home”.
Upon entering the exhibit, we viewed props from the show and caught a glimpse of what it’s like on the real Mythbusters set. Lucky for me, Kari Byron accompanied about 15 members of the media on the day of my visit. It was great to hear insights from a “Mythbuster” and hear her explain why and how some things worked and others didn’t. Byron told us “this is exactly what the Mythbuster set looks like, minus a few people, stations and props.”
We visited the Blueprint Room, which shows visitors the process Mythbusters must go through before busting a myth. It was great to reaffirm that while hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman like to make explosions and blow everything up, the importance of the exhibit is to investigate the whole process and try different ways to make a myth work.
And this was definitely seen upon walking further into the exhibit, where the real fun began. I, though still alongside Kari Byron, became a true Mythbuster. My 5 year old did, too! We both had the ability to play and experiment and try things we never thought we’d try!
One of the first experiments you may notice is Running in the Rain. In fact, you can easily identify the smell of the rain as you look up to see it’s really raining inside. This experiment tests whether a person gets wetter when running or walking through the rain. The rain water contains a non-harmful chemical dye that can be seen under a UV light. After you run or walk through the rain, visitors go into a black light area to see how many raindrops landed on your body! While running may seem like the obvious answer because you are faster, when you walk, you are standing straight up and down with less surface area… Think about it!
Another experiment was Tablecloth Chaos, which tests whether or not it’s possible to pull a tablecloth from under a set of dishes. (The dishes are hard plastic, but durable, meant to fall to the floor over and over.) I may have dropped a few dishes on the floor the first time I tried, but I was a bit more successful the second time around! I think I qualify as a magician’s assistant now.
A few more experiments: testing to see if a model airplane can take off from a moving conveyor belt, sitting on a swing held up by interlocking phone books, seeing how fast you can dress like a superhero and finding out if gas (yes, your gas) is really flammable.
One of our favorite experiments? Big Bad Wolf – Visitors can build structures out of blocks, which represent straw, sticks and brick. The structure is built on a platform you’d then place in front of a vent. Press the “go” button and the vent shoots out a huge gust of air, testing the strength of your house! Byron told me many visitors will have their first house knocked down, but the goal is to try again. She suggested we try adding windows or making the house circular… as each provided a different outcome.
We also enjoyed the live interactive show: Can you dodge a paintball? The show runs throughout the day, gets the audience excited while explaining reaction times to the speed of sound vs the speed of light.
Before exiting the exhibit, you can submit a myth that you’d like to see busted on the television show. And yes, we were told all of the submissions will be reviewed by the producers! How neat is that? Take a look at the myth that was recently tested below. You can see the results on an upcoming episode next year!
Before we left, I had a chance to sit down with Kari Byron and ask her a few questions submitted from my son’s 5th grade class. They had amazing questions and Byron was happy to include them in the interview. Take a look:
Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition opens October 11 at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Visit the website to purchase tickets and see hours of operation. *The exhibit is here thru January 4, 2015.