Discovery Center

Choose which exhibit you want to explore!

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Children's Exploration

Activity and “hands-on” stations are abundant in this gallery for children sponsored by Simmons Bank. Children can enjoy a “Water Works” area featuring experiments with geysers and whirlpools, while learning about physical properties of liquids. Other activity stations feature the human senses of sight and smell as well as an architectural section which allows creativity in building structures. Special sections for small children include the “Ripple Pond” for infants and the “Fantasy Forest” for toddlers. Visitors of all ages will be delighted to enter a 48 ft. sculptural human figure on the upper level, where they can take in the sights of the Grand Hall before sliding down the leg of the human figure to the entry level floor.

For safety reasons, children must be three feet tall to slide down the giant human slide.

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Energy

Interaction is the focus of this gallery, which contains a 20-foot model of a generator that converts energy into electricity. Activity stations surround the generator and allow visitors to use their own muscle to turn turbines, which illuminate the tower in bands of light. Solar, fuel, and heat exhibits show uses for these alternative energy sources.

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enlightenment

Enter this mysterious gallery through a bookcase door to view a unique and eclectic mix of artifacts from local and foreign lands. Cast in a faint blue light, this versatile gallery features a piece of sunken treasure, musical instruments, and  African artifacts. A suit of armor is on display, as well as a size replica of the Ark of the Covenant.

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Military

Since the nation declared independence and achieved it with military force, war has affected almost every person in the United States. This gallery exhibits many examples of military equipment, both U.S. and foreign, as well as life in the military. The Civil War is featured with a replica of an ironclad that operated on the nearby Mississippi River. A PT-17 Stearman airplane from WWII is suspended in the south atrium as a tribute to the hundreds of pilots who received their flight training at a nearby military airfield. Several videos record the military experience of area service personnel.

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Native Americans

An Ice Age wooly mammoth greets visitors as they begin a journey through exhibits with many taxidermy specimens and period objects. A hologram displays a mythical figure recounting Native American legends and beliefs. An animated map displays possible routes the first people in America may have taken, and visitors can walk through the chronology of five Native America cultures: Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Historic.

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Natural History

Several large dinosaurs and a large illuminated projection globe are the focal points of this gallery. A huge Apatosaurus greets visitors as they descend the escalator and other large specimens, including a T-Rex, wait on the lower level. The projection globe can display the earth’s current and past internal and external geologic processes. Surrounding exhibits represent different time periods, beginning with the Paleozoic Era, which features fossils and recreations of the underwater world that was once the nation’s heartland. Visitors can explore the Mesozoic Era with dinosaurs before concluding their walk through the Cenozoic Era, which depicts animals through the glacial environments of this period.

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Regional History

With a focus on water and regional aquatic life, many aquariums and terrariums are on display including a 20,000-gallon aquarium that features living creatures from Reelfoot Lake, such as gar, bass, crappie, and turtles. However, the greatest thrill in the gallery is in the simulation theater where visitors can “enjoy” an earthquake with a 270-degree viewing experience and special effects, complete with sounds and tremors, similar to those that shook this area in the formation of Reelfoot Lake 200 years ago. Life in this region is portrayed with many regional artifacts, as well as videos of residents recounting their experiences in the area, including American legend, David Crockett.

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Science, Space & Technology

Take a trip through the universe in our “interactive starship theater” with a 160-degree dome screen that allows visitors to launch a spaceship from Earth and steer it through the planets and stars. The technology showcase includes a working replica of the Gutenberg printing press, and other innovations that link past communications technology to the present. Exhibits answer many questions about our universe including moon phases and meteorites, and feature live images of “our star” from a NASA solar scope.

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Transportation

Visitors can enjoy a showcase of 60 years of the American automobile. Exhibits include period objects and displays, and walk-through exhibits of early cars, such as the Model T; luxury cars including W.C. Fields 1938 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine; and three race cars, one of which is the NASCAR 2007 Chevy Budweiser #8.

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Traveling Exhibit

Made in Tennessee Exhibit | Made in Obion County Exhibit

June 20, 2017 – September 30, 2017

Free with park admission in the Reelfoot Room, located on the entry level near the Military Gallery.
Sponsor: Obion County Joint Economic Development Council

Made in Tennessee: Manufacturing Milestones is a traveling exhibition organized by the East Tennessee Historical Society in Knoxville, Tennessee. The exhibition project was made possible through an educational grant from the Alcoa Foundation to highlight Tennessee’s manufacturing story – past, present, and future. The grant was awarded in honor of Alcoa Tennessee Operations 100th Anniversary and the announcement of its automotive expansion project on May 2, 2013. Additional support comes from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Made in Obion County Exhibit is in addition to the Made in Tennessee: Manufacturing Milestones. Guests can learn about the local impact that industries had and continue to have in this area. Discovery Park of America is adding a section dedicated to the manufacturers in Obion County, including:

Blue Steel Tool, Inc. KMI
Blue Steel Tool & Die MIA Seating
Dar Pro Premier Buildings
G & H Tool & Die Reelfoot Metal
Green Plains Titan Tire
Greenfield Products Tyson
H & O Tool & Die Waymatic
Jiffy Steamers Williams Country Sausage

 

Upcoming Traveling Exhibits

BUGS! Larger than Life

October 13, 2017 – January 7, 2018

Spring 2018: Nature’s Ninjas

January 12 – April 9

Fall 2018: Thomas & Friends Explore the Rails

September 21 – December 30

Spring 2019: LEGOS: Towers of Tomorrow

January 18 – April 18

Fall 2019: To be determined

Spring 2020: Astronaut

January 17 – May 3