After closing in August for renovations, the Texas Museum of Science and Technology in Cedar Park has re-opened with permanent attractions and two brand new, interactive exhibitions.
Since the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, museum staff have been working on adding in a permanent planetarium and Timewalk dinosaur and fossil exhibit along with the two new exhibits: The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) Drugs: Costs and Consequences, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Machines in Motion.
The 30,000-square-foot facility is now maxed out on space, said Torvold Hessel, TXMoST Founder and Chief Strategy Officer.
“We could not be more excited to reopen the museum after our extensive remodel,” he said. “The launch of our newest exhibitions and renovated interior will engage curious minds of all ages from around the state.”
After remodeling and updating the concrete foundation of the facility, the DEA exhibit arrived Sept. 11, and the next day the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit arrived. It was a hustle setting those up, Hessel said.
“We have been working our tails off ever since we closed in August,” he said. “We’re really becoming a full science museum. We have beautiful things on display here that could compete with any science museum in the nation.”
Leonardo da Vinci’s Machines in Motion contains 40 different machines built after in-depth study of Leonardo da Vinci’s designs by a group of scientists and skilled craftsmen in collaboration with the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence, Italy. Each was constructed using the actual materials—and the tools—as prescribed by Leonardo da Vinci in his Codex Atlanticus.
This interactive exhibition gives patrons a hands-on opportunity to play around with and explore the concepts and ideas of the Renaissance-era master engineer and artist. The purposes of each problem-solving contraption are diverse, from a flying machine, a man-powered tank and a device to measure distances, to a working concept of an engine transmission.
“It’s amazing that Leonardo’s inventions still have an impact today,” Hessel said. The exhibit will be available for viewing through mid January 2018.
The DEA’s national touring exhibition, “Drugs: Costs and Consequences”, gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history and the current science behind drug law enforcement, drug prevention, and drug treatment specific to local Texas communities. Cedar Park is the 16th city to receive the exhibition.
The exhibit includes an actual South American jungle cocaine processing lab and a re-created Afghan heroin factory, as well as real wreckage from a drug-related car accident. A portion of the exhibition focuses specifically on the state of Texas, and explores the evolution of methamphetamine and opioid abuse and enforcement in the area.
“It has a local story to it that talks about the investigations the DEA has done in Central and South Texas and it also has some testimonials from family members who lost sons and sisters to drug overdoses,” said Will Glaspy, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Houston Division. “It’s not just someone in law enforcement telling kids drugs are bad for you, it’s actually the science behind it and why the drugs are bad.”
The DEA exhibit will be on display at TXMoST from Sept. 22 through June 30, 2018. The exhibit is appropriate for middle-school age children and above, museum officials said.
For more information and to purchase admission to the museum, visit www.txmost.org.