Housed within the brand-new Karabots Pavilion, Your Brain is an 8,500-square-foot exhibition designed to help visitors explore the science of the human brain. (Photos by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
Get ready for a colossal display of brain power, Philadelphia.
This Saturday, June 14, The Franklin Institute will open the doors to its brand-spanking-new 53,000-square-foot Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, its largest expansion ever in its more than 150-year history.
To truly celebrate what’s sure to be an awesome addition to The Franklin Institute and the entire Benjamin Franklin Parkway museum district, the museum hosts a daylong extravaganza, welcoming visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To kick off the day, the museum gives back to its fans with free admission for the first 500 visitors who arrive on Saturday, June 14. Awesome!
In addition to a generous welcome, The Franklin Institute’s expansion celebration includes a jam-packed schedule of more than 30 interactive and innovative activities, live shows, commemorative giveaways, food and drink, and one huge — we hear explosive! — ribbon cutting.
At the core of the dazzling three-story addition, though, is the new permanent exhibition Your Brain — the museum’s largest display to date — which joins the collection of awesomely interactive science-and-technology exhibits already on display at the museum.
In addition to Your Brain, the expansion also features an education center and meeting space, as well as larger, climate-controlled traveling exhibition gallery for limited engagements. On Saturday, the first of the summer features will debut, too, including Circus! Science Under the Big Top and 101 Inventions That Changed the World.
Get ready for a brilliantly brainy experience and read on for more on the public opening celebrations of the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion.
Opening Day Festivities
The Franklin Institute buzzes with activity on any given day, but this Saturday, June 14, the entire museum gets a supercharge from cool programming, demos, giveaways, magic shows, music and so much more.
More than 30 interactive activities are lined up for the day — in addition to the first 500 visitors getting in for free! — all relating to an aspect of the brand-new space.
Throughout the museum, a Mobile Scavenger Hunt between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. offers up a super-cool prize of a brain puzzle to anyone who completes the hunt, and a grand prize of a one-year family membership to The Franklin Institute for a lucky participant.
On the hour between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., a live science show gives audiences the chance to see competing Tesla coils, exploding hydrogen balloons and chilling liquid nitrogen.
Outside on the South Lawn, the science and art of the Shimmer Wall is revealed between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The Franklin Institute's new 53,000-square-foot expansion, the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, is home to a gorgeous "shimmer wall", a state-of-the-art installation by environmental artist Ned Kahn. (Photo by Darryl Moran Photography for The Franklin Institute)
For much more on the public opening of the Karabots Pavilion and Your Brain
, see below.
In conjunction with the Your Brain exhibit, the Brain Wave science educator team will rove through the museum to test public knowledge with on-the-spot brainteasers and puzzles.
From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., anyone can take the opportunity to talk with the scientist behind the conceptualization of much of the Your Brain exhibition, Franklin Institute Chief Bioscientist and lead developer, Dr. Jayatri Das.
To accompany the new Circus! Science Under the Big Top exhibit, the celebrations include roaming magicians, jugglers and stilt walkers, and a show from Mentalist Max Major in the Franklin Theater at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Alongside 101 Inventions That Changed The World, the cool activities include a display of Inventor Statutes in Key Hallway. Those who turn the oversized key on the pedestal can watch the “statue” come to life as an actor portrays notable figures from the history of science.
Plus, for one day only a curated show of 80 significant historic artifacts illuminates the history of science and technology in Wonderland of Science, an exhibit of hand-selected artifacts to represent the 80 years the museum has been open on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Remember, this is only a smattering of the happenings taking place within the museum during these opening celebrations.
For a complete schedule of activities, check here.
In what's surely the centerpiece of Your Brain, a two-story tall neural network climbing structure with lighting and sound effects are triggered by your footsteps. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)
A whopping 8,500-square-foot exhibit, Your Brain premieres in conjunction with the opening of the Karabots Pavilion, offering visitors a chance to explore this complex and often misunderstood vital organ.
Featuring an unprecedented collection of high-tech exhibitions, Your Brain leads museumgoers through a seven-gallery exploration with more than 70 interactive experiences, including an incredible two-story climbing structure that simulates the brain’s neural network with lighting, sound and more.
The incredibly engaging exhibit aims to help each visitor understand that the brain and nervous system underlie all human behavior, that it is always changing and that knowledge of this crucial organ has the potential to help us evolve as a society.
From outlining the basics of brain function (yes, you use all of your brain) to introducing cutting-edge neuroscience research, the rich displays answer questions like “What is the brain?” and “How does it work?”
Undoubtedly, those who experience Your Brain will walk away with a greater understanding of the brain’s capacity, its potential and even its mysteries.
Circus! Science Under the Big Top
The first show to christen the brand-new traveling exhibition gallery in the Karabots Pavilion, Circus! Science Under the Big Top explores the world and science of the circus.
From the physics of juggling to the psychology of fear of heights on the High Wire, visitors engage with the science of the circus through 23 interactive exhibits.
A few interactives not to miss? The High Wire, an real steel cable suspended nine feet in the air; Elastic Acrobatics, where visitors jump up to a trapeze; and the Human Cannonball, where visitors shoot
projectiles out of a cannon to hit a target.
101 Inventions That Changed The World
Based in a multimedia experience, 101 Inventions That Changed The World reveals a list of 101 influential inventions via a multi-screen, high-definition, surround sound SENSORY4™ projector environment.
Walk through the immersive display for a snapshot of awesome inventions that have guided the course of history.
It’s going to be one heck of a brain party.
Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion Grand Opening Celebration
When: Saturday, June 14, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: The Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th Street
Cost: Included with general admission
More info: www.fi.edu
Previously: Coming Attraction: The Franklin Institute To Debut Your Brain, An Amazing New Permanent Exhibit In The New Karabots Pavilion, Saturday, June 14
Your Brain opens at The Franklin Institute this weekend with demos, shows and giveaways -- including 1500 of these cool brain puzzles. (Image courtesy The Franklin Institute)
One of four new exhibits on display in The Franklin Institute's new wing, Your Brain is a seven-gallery exploration with more than 70 interactive experiences. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)