There may not be a single bad day to go to MOXI, but May (the) 4th (be with you) is a good one. There were lightsaber battles going on in the virtual reality room, and the George Rhoads-designed Sound Machine was pumping beats in the form of soundbites from your favorite episode of Star Wars.
MOXI — tagged as The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation — is a dream 20 years in the making, where curious minds of all ages are invited to explore and discover themes related to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Each day at MOXI is engineered to be a unique experience. May the 4th, well, it was Star wars day and well-attended by future Jedi.
Outside, in the Fantastic Forces Courtyard, wind was making stars of otherwise inanimate objects. From squishball tube runs where kids were chasing down the object they just seconds before had placed in the suction port, to makeshift spacecraft in a propulsion cylinder where kids practice the science of flight.
Looking up, the frosty silhouettes of people walking around on the third floor Sky Garden roof spark the imagination and inspire a trip up the stairs.
Before making it to the roof, a few spins on the Speed Track … or maybe a few dozen races on the test track. The test track keep minds entertained as they build wooden cars and race in three lanes of high speed action complete with a digital judge calling out winners and losers at the finish line. The adjustable track and redesigning of cars keeps things interesting as young drivers compete by rebuilding new models as each race provides new insight. The digital judging based on speed, impact and more means it is not just a finish-first race, but presents a challenge as the racers try to figure out the algorithms giving first place to their new archrivals.
All around, the second floor is filled with interactive activities that inspire perfect strangers to become partners or adversaries, depending on the activity.
On the roof, the Sky Garden provides experimentation in fluid dynamics, with Whitewater — an interactive feature with a giant Archimedes screw.
Unfortunately, sometimes the roof is rented out for another event. Such was the case on May 4, and we will have to return to enjoy Whitewater and the Weather Orchestra — a wind-, sun- and human-powered symphony station.
Whatever day it is, the imagination has met its match at MOXI.