Air Works

Air Works examines the properties of air and explores the science behind controlling and using this invisible substance in our everyday lives.

Featuring interactive exhibits and specially-designed tinkering and making activities, this special exhibition will help flex engineering muscles, strengthen the understanding of core scientific concepts, and spark the imaginations of all ages.

Air Works will offer an array of hands-on learning experiences that will consist of ten exhibits and four different tinkering activities. While the exhibits will include some classic Montshire favorites, such as Sailboats, it will have numerous newly created hands-on experiences.

For example, visitors can:

  • Send objects through a two-story, three-dimensional maze by controlling the flow of air from one location to another.
  • Experiment with air lift by testing items of varying materials and weights on a hover table.
  • Examine cause and effect through inflation and deflation by using an air-powered chain reaction machine.
  • Elevate the simple activity of making paper airplanes to an intensive science project. The paper airplane station will provide builders a selection of designs to recreate, a runway to test the dynamics and capabilities of their finished products, and even a motorized airplane launcher. 

The Museum collaborated with educator Becky Lindsay and artist Leonard Solomon to create two extraordinary experiences in this exhibition. Lindsay, the Creative Director of the educational organization MindSplash, specially customized their signature A-Mazing Airways exhibit for the Montshire. This whimsical piece is a pneumatic air system that combines air tubes, high-performance air systems, interactive diverter boxes, and soaring air pathways of all shapes and sizes for a mesmerizing learning experience. Musician and inventor Solomon created an air-operated Bottle Organ to provide a memorable and enchanting lesson on the use of air in making music. 

Additionally, the Museum will feature new artwork in the atrium, a place long held by a large-scale model of a monarch butterfly. This new air-related sculpture will serve as a reminder of both the practical and playful qualities of air.