clock 10 am – 5pm
Woman and girl steer multi-colored sailboats through a pond.
Explore | Exhibit

Catch the Wind

We can feel the wind, but we might not always understand the full impact of this important force of nature. Sail a sailboat, catch seeds as they float to the ground, launch vapor rings, observe birds in flight—these are just a few of the ways you can explore how people, animals, and plants move with the air.

Want to explore what happens when droplets of water float in the air? Check out our popular Into the Mist playscape, located in Catch the Wind. Learn more about the other forces of nature in the nearby Earth Moves exhibit.

Woman and boy steer a yellow sailboat.

Sailboat Pond

Captain a radio-controlled boat in a beautiful 5,000-square-foot elliptical sailboat pond. On our sailboat table, choose a sail, put it on your boat, and see how your design moves with the wind. How will different sail shapes impact your boat’s journey?
Woman uses fist to strike an air canon sending a blast toward a wall covered with metal disks that move.

Air Canons

Experiment with vortex rings using a series of hand-powered air cannons and watch as invisible air rings come to life against a shimmering wall of mirrors. How does changing the cannon angle impact the rings?
Woman and girl try to catch seed shaped pieces of foam as they fall from a large yellow tower.

Seed Tower

Launch giant seed models and watch them float, parachute, tumble, spin and glide to the ground as you explore the aerodynamics of seeds. The longer a seed stays in the air, the further the wind can carry it from the parent plant and the better chance it has of surviving. Make predictions and see how far each shape will travel.