Museum News (June 10, 2024)

Published 06/10/2024

Members of the Pinkerton and Kirkendall (Logan) families see how loud they can scream in the Scream Chamber at the Hansen Museum’s Sonic Sensation exhibition.

In the Artist of the Month area visitors will find beautiful lathe work and diamond art during the month of May. Artists Jim and Sherry Kershner (LaCrosse, KS) have created some gorgeous items that are unique and reasonably priced. One of the most original items they have in their display are pens made from wood and amino casings. These pens even have a bolt action lever (like on a rifle) to push and lock the refillable pen cartridge in place. These pens would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift—stop in to check them out.

Our current exhibition, Sonic Sensation, is a big hit with children and adults alike! During the first week of being on view, visitors have enjoyed discovering the awesome power of sound. Exploring the 15 open-ended exhibits, visitors learn about the physical and mathematical principles governing sound. So far, the Scream Chamber has been the favorite with visitors of all ages. Below is a description of a few of the individual exhibits included in Sonic Sensation.

Scream Chamber: Visitors step into a semi-soundproof chamber, close the door, and let out a scream! A partner reads the decibel meter mounted on the outside of the chamber. Compare that to other sounds on a chart. Can a visitor scream as loud as a howler monkey? The competition gets fierce and funny!

See Sound: Watch foam bits “dance” in all kinds of interesting patterns in a long, clear tube. Speakers at both ends of the tube drive the air rapidly back and forth; although the air is invisible, it’s making the foam bits move in unexpected patterns. Below the tube is an oscilloscope illustrating the motion of the vibrating cones on the speakers. What happens to the pattern as the amplitude or frequency knobs for the speakers are turned?

Music in Motion: Be a musician! Wiggle, jiggle, kick or flick across a musical-themed carpet while a camera overhead displays the maestro of this giant “keyboard” on a large-screen TV. Visitors move through the motion-sensing zones shown on the monitor to “play” different sounds. Explore what makes music.

Critters in a Cupboard: A visitor hides a “cat” or “cricket” in one of the 24 kitchen cupboards and asks a partner to find it by listening! For a challenge, can they find the critters while covering one ear?

How’s your Hearing? With headphones on, visitors adjust the volume of different frequency ranges for each ear and record their results on a chart. Are the results the same for both ears? Can one ear hear certain frequencies at lower or higher volumes than the other ear?

Sonic Sensation will remain on view through July 28th. Make plans to come make some noise at the Hansen Museum this summer! The Museum is open Mon. through Fri. 9-12 and 1-4; Sat. 9-12 & 1-5; Sun. and holidays 1-5. We are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. We are handicapped accessible, and admission is always free thanks to the generous support of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. For more information or if you have questions, please contact us at 785-689-4846. We hope to see you at the Museum!