Bike-Powered Fun

7/22/2021

This summer, the Powerhouse museum is hosting an interactive exhibit about bicycles. From learning about different materials for the bike frame to practicing your musical skills on a xylophone made out of bike parts, come learn more about bikes! By Hannah Robertson. Sponsored by Alpine Bank

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Hi, I'm Beth Drum with Alpine Bank. At Alpine Bank, we value the services that our nonprofit community offers. We hope you enjoy meeting some of these change makers as part of the Alpine Bank series, Community Matters.

So The Powerhouse is an interactive children's museum here in Durango, Colorado. We like to make science as interactive and fun, and hands-on for kids as we possibly can. So we've started bringing a lot of traveling exhibits to Durango. In the fall last year, we brought in dinosaurs and we had dinosaurs for six months. Since then we've brought in, this is traveling exhibit number five. It's called Gear Up: The Science of Bikes. It's from the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. It's going to be here until September 12th. And the whole time that we're going to have this exhibit, we're going to be doing really cool bike related events. My name is Heather Brookshier and my job title is the gallery manager at the Powerhouse. So the vision of the Powerhouse was always to be an interactive hands-on science place for kids. So when they started back in downtown, it was a smaller place, but they still had stuff and they were using like the solar roller to try to get into the building. Once they had access to the building, there was a whole fundraising to try to renovate it and to build it up and to make it the Powerhouse that it is today. Our new executive director, Jeff Susor, has really been leading the march towards, we need to do traveling exhibits, we need to bring new stuff to Durango. So that like the dinosaurs were from the American Museum of Natural History, that's in New York, and not all of us can go to New York and see those dinosaurs. But if we can bring them here to Durango, then we can share that with the community and we can kind of keep having new fun things. And we can kind of, you can always come back to the Powerhouse and be excited to see something new. Everything about the science of bikes. So there are exhibits that are about drag and making things super fast. There's exhibits that are based on the materials that bikes are made out of. There's a xylophone that's made out of bike parts. There's an exhibit where you can feel the different weights of whole bodies of bikes and compare the differences between the carbon fiber frames and the steel frames. My favorite is a gyroscopic seat where you can sit down on a spinny stool and you hold a bike wheel in front of you, and as you turn the bike wheel, it spins you in the chair. Cause you can feel the forces of momentum and a centrifugal force trying to keep the bike wheel straight. Which is why bikes work the way that they do. We're actually really excited that we're open back up to six days a week now. We're open from 9:30 in the morning until four o'clock at night, most of the week, that's Wednesday through Saturday, on Sundays and Mondays, we're open just from noon until four in the afternoons. We are closed on Tuesdays, but we're back to being open six days a week, and we're all very excited about that.

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