It’s a Dogtastrophe–at least for the poor digital canine whose interactive doghouse is destroyed by flooding, an earthquake and a blizzard—represented by water hoses and sprinkler, a merciless pair of fuzzy slippers and a snow blower.
Dogtastrophe is part of the Raise the Roof exhibit at the Science Museum of Virginia. From February 9 until April 28, Raise the Roof will teach museum patrons about joints, trusses, stress, tension, shearing and all things architectural.
Exhibits within Raise the Roof are hands-on and educational. According to Nancy Tait, Science Museum of Virginia manager of communications and stories, visitors are encouraged to create their own structures, by using lightweight rods to create trusses or by creating buildings whose structural integrity can be tested on an earthquake table.
The theme of construction and disrepair is present in several exhibits. “Raise the Roof, it’s about building things,” says Science Museum of Virginia Life Science Catalyst David Olli. “But nothing lasts forever.”
One exhibit allows patrons to construct and deconstruct a domed structure similar to St. Peter’s Basilica by turning a wheel. Videos depict buildings being demolished through the use of explosives. In addition to decorating the storefronts of a replica Main Street using magnets, children as well as adults can create and knock down structures made of building blocks.
“We spend the vast majority of our lives indoors and this is the perfect opportunity to understand more about the ‘built world, says Science Museum of Virginia Chief Wonder Officer Richard C. Conti in a statement. “As you interact with the exhibits, you’ll uncover practical information you have lived with for years, but never fully understood.”
When hands are placed against a glass filled with insulation, a thermometer illustrates how well the insulation is trapping heat. Talking into a microphone, and listening to the ensuing echo, allows patrons to guess what type of room they would otherwise be standing in; another model demonstrates how poisonous carbon monoxide gas can build up in a home that lacks proper ventilation.
Raise the Roof also features housing designs from foreign cultures such as a “ger,” a portable home traditionally found on the Mongolian steppe. Richmond residents can step inside a replica of the wooden-frame structure.
Raise the Roof is open to anyone curious about architecture.
“It is something I have seen people of all ages get excited about,” Tait says.
Raise the Roof: Tickets are $11 with a $1 discount for children, ages 4-12, and for adults, age 60 and older.
For more information: visit www.smv.org or call (804) 864-1400.