WATCH | ‘Great strides’: Rotarians get an inside look at science museum

Jacob Marcus, an educator at Mid-America Science Museum, uses hot water and dry ice to create a cloud at the end of his magic show. (The Sentinel-Record/James Leigh)
Jacob Marcus, an educator at Mid-America Science Museum, uses hot water and dry ice to create a cloud at the end of his magic show. (The Sentinel-Record/James Leigh)

Two Mid-America Science Museum educators gave members of Hot Springs National Park Rotary a glimpse into some of the museum's programs last week in the Hall of Wonder.

Diane LaFollette, the museum's CEO, said the support of the community helped make the museum what it is today.

"We have made great strides here, and a lot of it has to do with our fabulous staff," she said Wednesday. "We have a lot of them (here) today, and I can't just tell you how proud I am of everybody that has worked here -- today and in the past -- because everyone has made Mid-America the place to be. We really appreciate your support for the community. It just takes all of us."

LaFollette also pointed out some of the events the museum has coming up this year.

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"Of course, the eclipse weekend is coming up," she said. "A lot of things are happening. We're doing a lot -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- a lot of programming that we're doing that's around the science of the eclipse, so you have something to do before it gets crazy on Monday."

One new program that is being offered is STEM Works set for April 20.

"This is all about the science that goes on in Hot Springs," LaFollette said. "So we're looking at communities and organizations and businesses that do science in Hot Springs. We're going to have them come out and showcase what they do. Show children and families how they can work in Hot Springs, do science and give back to their community, as well. So this is all about what happens in Hot Springs specifically. So this is unique to us."

This summer's exhibit will be the Hall of Heroes, which will feature superheroes in the Hall of Wonder. LaFollette said there will be statues of many popular superheroes like Spider-Man, Black Panther and Wonder Woman as part of the exhibit, which starts May 27.

"You can come and look at these big statues, but also you can sit in the Batmobile," she said. "You can test your superpowers against those of the real superheroes. So please come out and see that."

Casey Chandler, the museum's director of Educational Development who leads the Scientots program, then read the book "A Few Beautiful Minutes: Experiencing a Solar Eclipse" by Kate Allen Fox. Chandler will be reading the picture book to museum visitors in the days leading up to the solar eclipse on April 8.

Educator Jacob Marcus wrapped up the presentation with "Magic Jacob's Science Magic Show of Scientific Science and Magical Magic." He presented several science-based magic tricks while explaining the science behind how each of them works.

  photo  Guests leave Mid-America Science Museum, which hosted Hot Springs National Park Rotary. (The Sentinel-Record/James Leigh)
  photo  Mid-America Science Museum Director of Educational Development Casey Chandler, left, presents a book during a recent meeting of Hot Springs National Park Rotary while edcuator Jacob Marcus manages technology. for the presentation. (The Sentinel-Record/James Leigh)

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