Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

What's on View at the Arts & Science Center of Southeast Arkansas?

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Working with nature at the nanoscale helps scientists learn more about the world around us. One display from Nanotechnology: What's the Big Deal? (above left) looks at how seeing butterfly wings at the nanoscale has applications for cell phones and computers. Seeing leaves at the nanoscale (above right) has applications for medicine and even stain resistant pants! Image courtesy Arts & Science Center of Southeast Arkansas

"We want to be the inspiration for a ‘WOW’ moment that will translate into a lifelong appreciation of the arts and sciences." That's how Communications and Programming Director Brenda Hengel describes the Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas. What's most unique about the center is that it presents hands-on science exhibits---such as an outdoor geocaching hunt--- alongside performing arts activities such as The King and I, the classic musical which opens in the center's 232-seat theater on July 22. The center's galleries also play host to shows of visual art, such as an exhibit of recent prints by multi-media artist William Wetmers on view through June 22. The community also can rely on the center for access to year-round classes, camps, and outreach programs in the arts and sciences.

"Sitting as we do at the gateway to the Delta---one of the poorest regions in the country---the Arts & Science Center is often one of the only chances many of our patrons have to experience all the wonder found in a museum setting," explained Hengel. "We’re also unique in that we’re part of a seven-member museum consortium, Arkansas Discovery Network funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, which helps us provide state-of-the-art science exhibits such Nanotechnology: What’s the Big Deal? created by the Science Museum of Minnesota. Arkansas is the first state to host this exhibit."

According to Hengel, the nanotechnology exhibit introduces the basics of nanoscience through several mini-exhibits. You can see what a billion (or one-billionth!) of something looks like, manipulate the size of a quantum dot to see its changing properties, and watch floating "molecules" order themselves on an air hockey table. Thanks to the Arkansas Children's Hospital, visitors can also learn how the hospital's doctors use nanotechnology to help patients.

The Arts and Science Center is located at 701 Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Visit the center's website for more information about its exhibits and programs.

Want to find more Blue Star Museums? Check out the BSM website for an interactive map of the more than 750 museums participating from coast to coast.


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