Milwaukee, Wis. With hands-on technology learning labs, an Aquarium and a recreated 1852 schooner to explore- All indoors. The Discovery world located on the waterfront of Milwaukee has something for everyone.
As I had arrived early for my one on one tour of Discovery world, I had some time to let me cell phone charge and go over over my notes in the spacious entrance hallway between the World of Technology and World of Water. This Hallway has a beautiful view of the Lake Michigan shoreline with huge windows and an outside broad walk.
Paul Fladten, My contact person and tour guide for Discovery world arrives and we begin the tour in the World of water. Paul is the Discovery world public relations manager and a wealth of knowledge.
The Second floor is where we start. I get to witness an indoor thunder storm recreation for the Helen Bader Foundation's Great Lakes Future exhibit. This is the world's largest model of the Great lakes and its built to scale. Complete with Thunder, Lighting and a brief downpour. This exhibit gives viewers an idea of what happens on the great lakes when the weather changes. There are also native amphibians, reptiles and fish in this area to see.
We head down to the Reiman Aquarium, Here I get to explore an underwater science submarine with an Ichthyology lab (fish studies). In one of the small tanks is a mantas shrimp. Known for their punching abilities. Outside are large Aquarium tanks filled with freshwater fish and saltwater fish. A touch pool allows visitors to have a hands-on experience with the resident Bamboo sharks, stingrays, sturgeons or slipper lobster. I get to touch one of the stingrays as it swims pass. These fish are all very social and keep circling around to be pet. The stingrays are soft and just a little bit slippery.
Next we go to the top floor and here there are more hands-on labs in the City of Freshwater exhibit and the Deck of the 1852 Challenge schooner. The Challenge is suspended between floors and is a complete vessel. I get to wonder the top deck of the Challenge and peek over the sides. I didn't venture below the decks to check out the bunk rooms but it is open for anyone to do so.
Paul and I head back down to the main hallway and outside to see Wisconsin's flagship, the 137 foot schooner SN Denis Sullivan. This is a real working ship and takes passengers out on day-sails during the summer time.
The area between the dock and the Discovery world building has a concert seating area and I am told they have great concerts there called Live @ the Lakefront. From this area I can see the Milwaukee waterfront and art museum.
We head back indoors and go to the World of technology. There are so many cool hands-on labs here, It is kinda mind blowing. The innovation and technology here is Awesome. We start with the Les Paul's house of sound, Where you can see his personal collection of guitars, Read about his early childhood through adulthood. There are so many guitars here and try as I may I can't get all of them in pictures. So I settle on a few and I hope my friends in rock bands don't hate me for not showcasing them all.
There is a a Green screen studio around the corner and Paul tells me that students can come here and learn about all aspects of a production studio. From working the cameras, microphones, sound engineers. They can make a recording to take home on DVD. This studio even has green screens, virtual sets and a professional production studio. A dream come true for an aspiring film makers or someone wanting to decide if it's right for them or not.
From here we wander to the Energy + Ingenuity lab. There is a recreated nuclear reactor here and a simulation of what happened during a malfunctions and how to correct it. Next there is the Anne Gayman Johnson Distant Mirror exhibit where you get to see how Archeology methods have made advancements.
The HIVE lets you go on a 3-d journey into virtual environments that react to you actions. You can explore outer space or the open ocean depths here. The HIVE is provided by the Milwaukee Area
technical college. There is also the Rockwell Automation Dream machine here, You can costume create personalized products with this machine using it's fully automated flexible die-cutting/assembly line and a touch screen.
As we move to the other side of the Dream machine, I see a tic-tac-toe board and George the robot. Paul and I instantly say this is like that movie War Games where the computer Joshua plays Tic-tact-toe against the humans David and Falken. We laugh and joke about both watching that movie as kids and now here people can do the same things---Without the consequences from the movie.
We move onto the Briggs and Statton Milwaukee muscle exhibit. It's actually a flight simulator for an airplane and a separate flight simulator for a helicopter.
There is a Design it Lab located in the opposite corner, students can come and learn how to make fashion designs, jewelry design and fabrications here. Using various materials like paper, cardboard, fabrics.
We take the giant spiral staircase down and try as I may I can not get a good photo of the Hoberman Double Helix that extends from the floor to the ceiling and changes light colors. It's just to big.
As a hands-on Museum and a Technology learning space I would recommend everyone visit Discovery
World and explore it.
For more information on discovery World please visit www.discoveryworld.org
500 North Harbor Dr.
Tuesday – Friday 9am-4pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am- 5pm
Adults 18 and to 59, 16.95
Seniors 60+ 14.95
College students with I.D. 9.95
Children 3 to 17 12.95
Children under 3 are free.