By Valerie Blackwell, Contributor —
Who knew superheroes could teach you science? Marvel’s Avengers: S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is a new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based exhibit currently running at the Times Square Discovery Center. Combining disciplines like space exploration, genetics, physiology, and mathematics, the exhibit which was developed with NASA, the Scientific and Entertainment Exchange, Neuroverse and Thwa
cke, gives children of all ages the opportunity to explore a maybe not so approachable subject in a fun and attractive way.
Using the characters from the world of “The Avengers,” each section presents opportunities to interact with equipment using an ID card that you make for yourself at the beginning of the experience. If for any reason, you have a problem using any of the devices, plenty of staff known as S.T.A.T.I.O.N. agents are on hand to help you or your children figure it out.
Throughout the exhibit, spectators are treated to costumes and props from the “Avengers” movie. While the sci-fi geekery was way over the head of my 3-year-old boy, he oohed in awe at the roaring and holographic image of Hulk, excitedly spotted a “rocket ship!!!” used by Loki’s minions in “The Avengers” and used virtual reality to don Iron Man’s costume and watch himself dance on a TV screen.
My personal favorite was the Thor room. When you walk in, projected on the back wall is a huge image of deep space. In front of that projection is a console with knobs and buttons that allow you to zoom in on a section of space, map it out and possibly find Thor’s realm of Asgard. Working with NASA clearly helped make this fictional experience seem authentic. Also on display, is a beautiful holographic image of Thor’s hammer. (The hammer itself is not there, the agents carefully explain, because Thor can never be without it.)
In the Captain America room, you can learn about physiology and athletics. In the Hulk room, you are introduced to the world of genetics and neurology and in the Iron Man room, you can learn about technology, weaponry and mechanics.
This is a sophisticated exhibit with the intention of educating people as it entertains them. I would recommend this experience for children ages 7 and older.
Marvel’s Avengers: S.T.A.T.I.O.N is at Discovery Times Square from now until January 4, 2015.