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Tyler science centers reteam for Leonardo da Vinci exhibit

Tyler science centers reteam for Leonardo da Vinci exhibit
The School Yard
Friday, May 9, 2014 - 11:16am

Their collaboration on last year’s Jurassic Summer was such a roaring success, the Center for Earth & Space Science Education at Tyler Junior College and Discovery Science Place are embarking on yet another joint venture.

“Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion” is an unprecedented, interactive dual-venue exhibition which will run May 24-Sept. 7 at both venues.

The exhibition offers 40 hands-on, full-size working machines, straight from da Vinci’s mind and manuscripts – known as “codices” – and brought to reality by a team of modern scientists and artisans who used the craftsmanship that Leonardo would have used in his time.

“This internationally acclaimed exhibition provides an engaging combination of education and entertainment in a completely hands-on experience that explores history, science, mechanics and physics, invention and innovation,” said Dr. Tom Hooten, TJC science center director and professor of physics and engineering.

“Putting the exhibit pieces together will be an intensive, two-week process. We’re thrilled to be bringing da Vinci’s inventions to East Texas.”

The exhibit is organized into four parts, based on pre-scientific studies of the elements of nature: earth, water, air and fire. Discovery Science Place will be hosting earth and fire exhibits, and The Center for Earth & Space Science Education will be hosting water and air. Highlights include a revolving crane, a full-size armored tank (large enough for several visitors to explore inside), a working robot, and four flying machines.

Exhibits include such visionary inventions as the helicopter and glider, the drive transmission, the printing press and the bicycle. Most of the materials used in the construction of these machines were available in Leonardo da Vinci’s era, and are the ones proposed by him in his manuscripts, including wood, rope and glue. The materials were crafted by hand (using tools prescribed by the master himself), and then reinforced for the traveling exhibition.

Visitors can also experience Leonardo’s Workshop, featuring hands-on stations where visitors can build a bridge, fire a catapult, create flying machines and more.

Combination tickets, which include the da Vinci exhibit at Discovery Science Place as well as TJC’s Center for Earth & Space Science Education exhibit and a domed-theater show, are $12 for adults and $9 for children. There’s also a da Vinci Plus option, which includes all of the above plus general admission to Discovery Science Place, for $16 for adults and $12 for children.

The Center for Earth & Space Science Education is located at 1411 E. Lake St., on the TJC main campus. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 12:30-5 p.m. Sundays. Call 903-510-2312 for more information.

Discovery Science Place is located at 308 N. Broadway Ave. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Call 903-533-8011 for more information.

For tickets and more information, go to

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