Coming to Great Lakes Science Center May 4 through September 3!
Get ready for an exhibition unlike any the Science Center has presented before – TapeScape-Sticky Science! Everyone is familiar with the unmistakable shrrrrrrrriiiippp sound that tape makes as it’s coming off the roll, but there’s more to this everyday material than you ever imagined!
Using the humble product known as packing tape, the Science Center and designer/artist Eric Lennartson are building a two-level, 1,300-square-foot, all-ages playground entirely out of packing tape wrapped around a metal frame – a TapeScape! Lennartson harnesses the tensile strength of tape – or its ability to stretch under stress – to design unique, multisensory installations strong enough for kids and adults to climb on and explore.
Lennartson, of Minnesota, has engineered TapeScape structures around the world from Australia to Dubai, but this will be his largest yet, and his first in Ohio! When completed, it will use nearly 75 miles of tape – enough to stretch from downtown Cleveland all the way to Youngstown! This special temporary exhibition is included with general admission, and does require guests to wear socks.
Surrounding the TapeScape structure itself will be multiple hands-on exhibits exploring “Sticky Science” from adhesives to polymers and even examples of adhesion in nature. Using everything from Velcro to Oreo cookie models, and suction cups to bristle blocks, guests will discover the physical and chemical processes that contribute to “stickiness” by:
- Using a pinscreen to investigate how geckos cling to glass.
- Exploring the ways science draws inspiration from nature through biomimicry.
- Turning a device to compare viscosity levels in different liquids.
- Looking through a polariscope to view rainbows of stress in clear tape’s backing, and assemble a puzzle that appears clear to the naked eye.
- Observing the way Velcro's hooks mimic plant burrs, and learn how science looks to nature for innovative solutions to everyday problems.
- Pulling apart Oreo cookie models to learn about adhesion versus cohesion.
- Discovering how sticky tape can turn frosted glass clear.
- Getting creative at a maker’s station that invites guests to get their hands on more than 11 miles of duct tape in a range of colors and designs.
The exploration of tape includes opportunities to examine tape artifacts from local manufacturer ShurTech, including clothes made for their annual Duck Tape Fashion Show, and see colorful sticky note murals. A “TotScape” area will provide our youngest guests a play-place of their own, complete with their own tape structure, bristle blocks building area and a “felt to flannel” wall that will show that adhesion isn’t always “sticky”!