Step Right Up!

Think you know carnivals? STEP RIGHT UP! takes you beyond the flashing lights and bright colors of the amusements and asks you to reconsider several classic carnival games. Throughout this exhibit, you’ll encounter a variety of challenges and thrills designed to trick your mind and body. But with a little understanding of probability, statistics, the laws of physics, and your natural ability to perceive light and movement, you’ll see how to overcome the deception and learn how to win. So, are you ready to try your hand?


Raising the Bar asks you to let your eyes be your guide as they work together with your hands to lift a ball, navigating through a field of perils to land in numbered holes. See how high the spheres can fly in Kinetic Collisions, where combining conservation of momentum and a transfer of energy provides an instant visual into the startling effects of Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion. Velocity and acceleration are the name of the game in Roller Bowler. Get ready to turn your potential energy into kinetic energy when you roll the ball in Ramp It Up. In Maze Craze, to escape in the fastest time by using your eyes to guide your hands in steering the ball through a topsy-turvy labyrinth. Trick Shot gives you the opportunity to show off your basketball skills by using trajectories and force to score. Bottle Balance requires leaning on your hand-eye coordination to stand up the bottles using only a fishing pole and line. Give the Circle of Chance a spin to find the most likely outcomes, or play with a friend to see who can land on their color or number first. Use the help of probability to guess where the balls will go in Stacking the Odds. Peer into the strange, altered world of Funhouse Mirrors that use the manipulation of reflected light and the unique way our eyes gather it to fool your brain into seeing a distorted image of yourself.