Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog

Sept. 22 – Jan. 27

Board the Birdwell Island Ferry and journey to the world of Clifford, America’s beloved Big Red Dog. Inspired by Scholastic’s top-rated TV show Clifford the Big Red Dog™ on PBS Kids, the exhibit offers numerous immersive ‘paws-on’ adventures that reinforce Clifford‘s big ideas.

New School Assembly Programs Now Available to Book

Last week a contingent of the Discovery Center’s education department headed out to Clyde Riggs Elementary School in Portland, Tennessee for a mobile lab and an assembly program. Every class in the school was able to participate in the KEVA mobile lab challenge AND watch an assembly program.

KEVA planks are ¼ inch thick, ¾ inch wide, and 4 ½ inches long and can be used by anyone ages 1 – 101. For this program, students were challenged to construct a structure with ramps, tunnels, and turns that a ball could travel through. With no other stipulations, their minds were free to dream up any design and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

The assemblies are new programs that we rolled out earlier this school year that allow us to educate a much larger group at one time. Students and parents were split into groups by grade (K-2 and 3-5) in order to enjoy the show. Subjects covered during the demonstration were Bernoulli’s Principle, Electricity, Special Effects, Temperature, and Phases of Matter. Some of the experiments and demos conducted include:

  • Flying Toilet Paper to illustrate the differences in high and low air pressure
  • Generating Electricity with a Tesla coil and Van de Graaff generator
  • Creating a Fireball using Lycopodium powder to show how special effects are created in movies
  • Liquid Nitrogen Cloud to demonstrate the effect of mixing extremely hot and extremely cold liquids together.

Living Laboratory at Discovery Center

Living Laboratory at Discovery Center has officially begun. This program, developed by the Museum of Science in Boston, creates opportunities for museum visitors to learn about scientific research by taking a hands-on role and becoming an active partner in the process. We are collaborating with Dr. Cyrille Magne, an Assistant Professor in MTSU’s College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, and several graduate and undergraduate students from the Psychology Department.

Focused on the development and patterns of language, Dr. Magne and his team use a short video game to observe the way children hear and respond to the characters on screen. Oftentimes scientific research is thought to be only conducted in sterile labs and under microscopes, but the aim of Living Laboratory is to make research approachable, understood, and available to the public. It also helps to create relationships between scientists and the communities where they live, work, and study.

This iteration of Living Laboratory will continue through the month of April and the first week of May to coincide with the Science of Music exhibit.

We Are Tennessee Mural Work Begins

After a month-long call to artists, Discovery Center received 111 submissions from 56 different artists for our We Are Tennessee project!  We are Tennessee is a pilot art project that generates depictions of identity and culture through a dynamic art wall on permanent display at the Discovery Center. It highlights the community members’ photographs, self-portraits, and other artistic depictions of the cultural diversity that make up our state.

The mural was designed by Murfreesboro Painter Laureate, Ginny Togrye. It is based on a quilt pattern called “Road to Tennessee” and includes Tennessee symbols such as the state bird, state tree, state flower and flag stars. Ginny designed the fabric to be reminiscent of that used for quilts and clothing made from flour sacks.

The mural will be unveiled during our free Arts in April event on April 28th. Save the Date for a reception for our artists and sponsors on Tuesday, May 1!

Arts in April, April 28

Features the 3 inaugural artist laureates: Ginny Togrye, Painter Laureate; Kory Wells, Poet Laureate; and Jessica Nelson, Photography Laureate. Activities will include write a Tanka with Kory, explore sculptural painting with Ginny, and use a camera obscura and participate in a photo scavenger hunt with Jessica Nelson.

Great Pumpkin Festival

Thursday, Oct. 26  |  4 – 7 p.m.

To understand your future you must first find your ninja roots! Join us for this year’s Lego Ninjago themed celebration with hands-on activities, maker projects, costume contests and much more! Admission $4 per person, free for members.


Closing Jan. 7

It’s your last chance to INVENT, DESIGN and TINKER at the Discovery Center’s Makerspace! The exhibit allows guests of all ages to get creative with hands-on activities and challenges.

Tennessee STEAM Festival

Oct. 12-22

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at nearly 70 events across the state during the inaugural Tennessee STEAM Festival! The Festival was founded by the Discovery Center and incorporates events at a wide range of museums, schools, community centers and other attractions. Come & enjoy the fun!