Nerd out at Discovery World

Discovery World

Have you ever played tic tac toe with a real live robot (nope – not against a computer), made actual waves, and created music all under the same roof?

If so, there’s a good chance you’ve probably been to Discovery World in Milwaukee. And if not, then that’s the place you want to go to do all of those things and a ton more.

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Discovery World is an enormous, 120,000-square-foot museum with more than a dozen exhibits related to science and technology that are all appropriate for a wide range of ages. Even if science and tech aren’t particular areas of interest to you, if you’re open to exploring the subjects, you’re guaranteed to have a blast nerding out at Discovery World.

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There are a bunch of interactive exhibits at the museum, which makes for a much more vibrant experience: you can construct an atom, play trivia games on digital screens, and – one of my favorites – view a thermal image of yourself! 😀

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An ancient artifact! 😛

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Another highlight is Les Paul’s House of Sound, something musicians and music aficionados are sure to love. It’s divided into three areas, including one where you can peruse historic guitars on display.

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But probably the highlight is in Area 3 called Friends of Les Paul, where visitors can find The Reactable, an intuitive electronic musical instrument that allows you to create your own music by placing a combination of plastic symbols next to each other and/or on top of each other. They react differently to each other, and rotating them also alters the sound. There aren’t any rules nor is there any manual on how to put together a virtuoso piece – you just gotta see what sounds good. I personally did not succeed in composing anything pleasant-sounding on the fly, but I spent the most time here out of any other exhibits because it was just so fascinating. It’s one you won’t want to miss.

Of course, there are others worth not missing either, including The Challenge, a replica of a Great Lakes ship that sailed from 1852 to 1889.

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Then there’s the Clean Air Trek for environmental nerds like me, where there are information boards about air quality and a digital screen where you can learn about what actions help improve air quality the most.

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Also worth noting are the nice views you get from the museum, which is located right on the lakefront 🙂

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When in Milwaukee, Discovery World is a fun museum to visit for a few hours. I’d say two to three would be a good amount of time.

If you’re traveling with young children, this is an especially perfect activity to include in your itinerary. It’s such an engaging way to learn about science and tech that you might even lose track of how much time you end up spending there 🙂

3 thoughts on “Nerd out at Discovery World

  1. Now this is really cool!

    What the heck is that weird thing with the headphones and the big buttons?

    OMG – Are you flashing gang signs in that thermal imaging thing??!!??!! YIKES!

    1. That exhibit with the headphones – you can put them on and push the buttons to hear different types of sounds. And nope! That’s me holding up the shaka sign 😛

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