Summertime at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum
Summertime in Ashland brings a long list of fun things to do, and the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum should top that list. No matter your age, ScienceWorks has something you’re going to love. A recent visit there with our middle-school-age grandsons—who can be a tough audience—brought rave reviews. And we had as much fun as they did!
The Museum, located just off East Main Street near Walker, is a whimsical, explore-at-your-own-pace kind of place that allows everyone—science geek or not—to experience the wonders of science and nature. The facility hosts a variety of changing exhibits every year, as well as favorite hands-on activities, camps and events.
A current exhibit, “Wild Music,” running until September 2, explores the “music” in the sounds of nature. Visitors can discover how animals communicate with and relate to one another, and hear the connection of human music to the sounds of tiny insects and giant whales. A Wild Music Concert Series takes place the first Saturday of each summer month; July 6 features Caballito Negro, whose concert sold out at SOU last year. The July 6 concert is free with museum admission.
“We’re all about inspiring wonder and stimulating creative exploration through fun, interactive science,” says Executive Director Dan Ruby, who fell in love with science after taking a rocket-making class at age 12. “I’ve been working at science museums in Nevada and Oregon for over 20 years,” he says. “Working for ScienceWorks is my dream job!”
The museum began in 2001 as a way to spark a renewed interest in science. Through an arrangement with the Kirlin Charitable Foundation and Southern Oregon University, the museum moved into the 26,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by the Pacific Northwest Museum of Natural History.
Volunteers completely refurbished the building, built exhibits and developed a strategic plan. Since opening in 2002, the museum has served nearly one million visitors and 100,000 K-12 students throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California, and boasts 2,000 member families.
“Our all-volunteer Board of Directors and our Science Advisory Board bring fresh ideas, infectious energy, solid science, and exciting perspectives to planning our exhibits, programs, and events,” Dan said.
Those plans include lots of cool summer activities, he noted. “Check online for some of the best summer camps around. Bring your furry friends to Dog Days, and watch for the opening of the Apollo 50 exhibit on July 20.”
For more info, call 541-482-6767 or visit scienceworksmuseum.org. You can also like them on Facebook.