Montshire Profile

Granite Cascade, June 2014

Current Location
The Granite Cascade is one of the water feature areas located outside in Science Park.

When did the Granite Cascade open?
Science Park and all of its exhibits, including the Granite Cascade, opened in 2002.

Why did the Montshire create this exhibit?
Science Park was created to offer an outdoor space for exhibits too large and too wet for indoors! The water and physics exhibits in Science Park allow visitors to explore the properties of flowing water, moving objects, and sound and light.

What is the Granite Cascade?    
The Granite Cascade is the final stop for the water that flows through Science Park. Visitors can manipulate small dams to change the flow of water around the granite blocks, or act as dams themselves by standing in the water or moving it with their hands. Once the water gets to the bottom of the Granite Cascade, two other exhibits—Water Bells and Water Dance—take over and allow for further experimentation.

Wait, what? 
At the bottom of the Granite Cascade, the first stop is the Water Bells, where visitors turn valves to change the flow and the shape of water to create bell-like shapes. The water can form big, round bells, skinny bells with wavering edges, sputtering jets of water, and if you get it just right, a perfectly flared bell shape.

Nearby, Water Dance allows visitors to control multiple water jets by pressing buttons on a control panel. If you want a surprise, then let the controller create a random pattern of water. Don't be afraid to get wet!

Did you know?
There is a 15 horsepower pump in the tank underneath the Granite Cascade that pumps 500 gallons of water per minute. That water is filtered through nine coarse filters, and then through another 14 fine filters. Carbon dioxide is added to the water to keep the pH balanced, and chlorine is added to keep the water safe for visitors. The automatic system constantly makes adjustments while the park is running, and the water and chemical levels are checked four times each day.

Have you tried this?
If you squeeze yourself into a really tight ball, you can fit under a water bell that you create. You can also create your own water dance pattern by playing the control buttons like a piano. Share your discoveries on the Montshire's Facebook page, or email us at

Elsewhere in Science Park, explore the other exhibits including the Rill, a 250-foot long watercourse where the water starts its flow. There, you can float a ball downstream, make dams, redirect the water flow, and watch patterns of light and shadow on the Rill's bottom.

Science Park is a great place to spend a hot summer day!


Montshire Museum of Science Engage the Senses