Create Your Own Experience!

What does it take to create a blockbuster video game? How many beats per minute does a DJ need to get bodies moving on the dance floor? What goes into creating a roller coaster or skate park to produce the most fun and biggest thrills?

The answers can be found where creativity and science come together in Design Zone -- our new special exhibition opening Saturday, October 1. Design Zone examines the science behind creativity and puts the tools for creative inspiration in guests’ hands. Throughout three highly interactive themed areas focusing on Art, Music and Action, Design Zone reveals how game developers, music producers, coaster designers and other creative problem solvers do what they do, and explains how design concepts and math become real life experiences in the worlds of art, entertainment and extreme sports.

Bike Race

Bike Race

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Three bicycle stations (two recumbent bicycles and one hand crank) are ready to hit the (virtual) pavement! As you and your friends or family race, a virtual graph appears tracking each person’s distance over time. Who will finish first?

Build a Wall, Build A Plaza, Build a Tower

Build a Wall, Build A Plaza, Build a Tower

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Use custom printed architectural blocks to recreate 3-D patterns and build a wall, plaza or tower!

Digital Strings

Digital Strings

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Adjust the lengths of eight virtual strings to create a new song. The longer the string, the lower the note!

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Drawing in Motion

Drawing in Motion

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Use your entire body to slide a digital “pen” across the “Y” axis of a number line and have a friend or family member do the same on the “X” axis. Together your creation will appear on the monitor display! Find out how the concept of slope helps web designers organize visual information, architects create scale drawings and video game designers plot the movement of objects across a screen!

Hit the Target

Hit the Target

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Can you launch a ball with the perfect release angle and distance calculation to hit a series of lighted targets? Video game designers use real-world motion like this to make their games more realistic and fun!

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Light Show DJ

Light Show DJ

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Step into the control booth of a virtual concert and put your skills to the test! Can you create a laser light pattern to match the music playing? Create the right patterns at the right time and see the crowd go wild!

Marble Maze

Marble Maze

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Manipulate a giant tilt table to guide a marble through a maze while avoiding black holes and rolling over starts to collect points. Use a simple equation to relate the size of the holes, the bounciness of the marble and the number of points per star to create your own variations of the game. What will your high score be?

Mirror Multiplier

Mirror Multiplier

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Can you use mirrors and geometric pieces to create challenging images? What designs will you create? Experiment with reflection, rotation and translational symmetry in this “seeing double” (or triple!) exhibit.

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Roller Coaster Hills

Roller Coaster Hills

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As fun as it may sound, it wouldn’t be safe or practical to make a roller coaster full of giant hills and no straight-aways. Build a better understanding of the relationship between hill height and distance traveled as you roll a ball down a ramp from different heights and see just how far the ball flies!

Admission to our traveling exhibition, Design Zone, is included with general admission to Great Lakes Science Center.