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Jersey City, NJ – November 17, 2021 – Starting December 4, Liberty Science Center will invite its youngest guests into a bright, interactive, slightly off-kilter wonderland to explore balance, motion, and cause and effect. With exhibition elements invented by renowned toy designer Cas Holman and the LSC team, the immersive Wobbly World experience will be unlike anything guests have seen before.
Designed around the concept of balance, the new 2,600-square-foot exhibition draws inspiration from art, physics, and an intrepid toddler’s first steps. Every movement of early learners exemplifies the concept of balance and of being unbalanced, off-balance, and rebalancing. From the time babies first try to balance their big heads and sit up (and fall over), to toddlers taking their first steps, to preschoolers scaling playground equipment — children are constantly practicing and strengthening their balance skills.
“When toddlers are learning to walk, they fall 17 times an hour. We know this because neuroscientists have counted,” said Paul Hoffman, LSC President and CEO. “Kids stack blocks precariously high or push food off tables just to see what happens. Over years of testing limits and observing results, children develop and revise their own theories of how gravity, motion, and mass affect everything. This completely custom exhibition offers our youngest guests and their grownups a fun, safe, totally unique environment where they can continue this exploration.”
“My hope for the exhibition is that it becomes a space where children feel comfortable exploring things they aren’t familiar with,” designer Cas Holman noted. “Comfort in uncertainty is now more critical than ever. I think when children get to exercise that early on, it has a lasting impact on how comfortable they are figuring things out.”
At the center of the gallery is the iconic giant Body Mobile: part carousel, part Calder-style mobile, all powered by play. As young guests hop on colorful seats and surfaces that dangle from the 14-foot-tall center column, they swing, spin, and teeter-totter bringing the giant structure to life. On one side of the gallery, kids explore Balancescape, a fanciful landscape of hills and ledges, testing their balance and agility as they find their footing. Along the opposite wall, young learners can build and explore with a whimsical collection of oversized Balance Blocks. The blocks also form a giant puzzle: Each unique block shape fits into a matching slot in the wall.
In addition to the grand-scale kinetic experiences, Wobbly World engages young learners in smaller, hands-on explorations of balance. At the Mobile Building Station, tiny hands can create a tabletop mobile by hanging mini versions of shapes seen around the gallery on a permanent mobile base at the center of a table. At the Scales and Stacking Station, there are tactile wooden shapes to grab, sort, stack, and balance on scales.
Families and caregivers will find plenty of comfortable seating at benches and stools, including a built-in nursing area and an enclosed crawler space. SafeLandings flooring and shock-absorbing padding ensure that all young learners can explore safely. Holman, LSC's partner in creating Wobbly World, also designed the giant blue blocks in LSC's Block Party gallery, among other popular playthings.
Wobbly World is free with LSC admission. To learn more and reserve tickets, please visit LSC.org.
About Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center (LSC.org) is a 300,000-square-foot, not-for-profit learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers and bringing the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology to learners of all ages, Liberty Science Center houses the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs, and teacher-development programs. Before COVID-19, more than 250,000 students visited the Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participated in the Center’s off-site and online programs. Welcoming more than 750,000 visitors annually, LSC is the largest interactive science center in the NYC-NJ metropolitan area.