If your kids love raining down digital destruction in “Angry Birds,” they can try their skills in real life at the New York Hall of Science's summer exhibit.
“Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science of a Global Phenomenon” arrives for its first U.S. stop at NYSCI on July 1, taking over two whole galleries with 20 exhibits devoted to the game.
"It’s one of the biggest shows we’ve had for several years,” says Dan Wempa, vice president of external affairs for NYSCI who helped bring “Angry Birds” to the museum, located in Flushing Meadows Park.
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The traveling exhibit, created by Imagine Exhibitions, takes a deep dive into the physics behind the world's most downloaded gaming app. “This exhibit immerses you in this fantastical world, but everything about the game itself is rooted in real science," explains Wempa, covering geometry, physics and more in fun, interactive ways.
While it's best suited to kids 5-14, parents will have a blast guiding their kids through the exhibit, especially its centerpiece: a giant slingshot shooting range. Visitors build their own structures (museum guides can help if it’s been a while since you’ve made a pillow fort), then try to knock them down by launching one of the Angry Birds at them.
It's not all just shooting down targets though. “Angry Birds” is a starting-off point for all kinds of learning and creativity, from biology to architecture and animation.
Kids can built their own Angry Birdmobile and race it along a track, compose their own soundtrack to virtual destruction, conquer a climbing wall, draw their own bird and animate it with some computer magic, and even meet some real-life birds.
“These are subjects that if you’re trying to teach them as abstract concepts in a two-dimensional textbook, it can get pretty confusing pretty quickly,” Wempa says. “But we are big believers here at the Hall of Science that people learn best through exploration, and discovery and trying things out, so this exhibit gives you a lot of different opportunities to do a lot of stuff.”
The exhibition is only around for two months, so don’t wait to check it out. And while the schedule is still in the works, watch for special events — including using the museum’s own trebuchet. Wempa hints, “We may have the opportunity to do a little Angry Bird chucking before the exhibit is over."
If you go
“Angry Birds Universe”
July 1-Aug. 27
Mon-Fri: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Weekends: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St., Corona
$16 adults, $13 kids up to 17, nysci.org