Open today: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Keep It Moving

Designing transportation systems for land and air

Transportation is all about moving stuff—including ourselves—from one place to another. This takes valuable time and energy, so we’re always looking to design better, faster, and more efficient ways to keep things moving.

Blast Off

Visitors design, build, and launch paper airplanes and rockets toward a series of targets set out in a designated area on the gallery floor. By building, testing, and revising, visitors can see how making even small changes to their designs can impact a rocket’s performance.

Up, Up and Away

Sponsored by Mark and Claudia Thompson, Jennifer Thompson, and Tracy Thompson Kindem – H.A. Thompsons & Sons

Visitors pump air from an air pump into a plastic water bottle mounted on a vertical bar. As the visitor pumps, the air pressure builds up in the bottle. When the pressure gets high enough, the bottle launches.

Building Bridges

This exhibit puts visitors in the shoes of a structural engineer as they build sturdy bridges using trusses and suspension systems.

Chain Reaction Table

Sponsored by Apex Engineering

Visitors assemble and test a Rube Goldberg machine to accomplish a simple purpose. This ball-run activity includes prefabricated mechanisms and an ample supply of parts for multiple designs and experiments.

Flight Simulator

As if training to become a pilot, visitors step into the simulated cockpit of a small plane and learn how to fly and navigate.


Sponsored by Bill Barth Ford

Visitors assemble their own cars from a collection of car bases and bodies, then race them against others. They test their cars against the time clock and find ways to make them faster. The prototype track is 21 feet long; the track under development at the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) is approximately 32 feet long.

Robotic Arm

Sponsored by Karen Traeholt in memory of Alan Traeholt

Using remote controls, visitors direct a mechanical arm to pick up and move balls from one place to another within an enclosed environment. This current favorite among Gateway to Science visitors is getting a make-over with a new case design that will give guests more access to this amazing machine.

Human Kaleidoscope

Sponsored by Jim and Carrie Berg, Robert and Glenda Berg, and Clyde and Kathleen Galliger in memory of Ben Berg

Mirrors are positioned tilted toward each other at an angle so the reflective surfaces face each other. Visitors see their own images as a symmetrical pattern due to repeated reflection – just like a kaleidoscope.

Colored Shadows

We don’t normally get to see the colors that make up white light separately. Colored Shadows demonstrates how the primary light colors; red, green, and blue work together to create a rainbow of light that includes white.

Puff of Air

Sponsored by Marc and Sarah Ricks Family

Using a small air cannon, visitors aim a puff of air at a sequin wall, making the light-catching materials dance and move in the air.

Floating on Air

Sponsored by SCHEELS

Visitors explore the properties of moving air by building and launching lightweight whirligigs and helicopters in a vertical wind tube. They can take on a specific challenge or take part in free-form exploration.


Drones are controlled in one of three ways, piloted using remote controls, programed to fly a set flight plan, or they can fly themselves using sensors. The Keep It Moving gallery includes experiences for each.


Humans are great conductors, and most of the time, we are unaware that electricity is moving around or through us. The pentiductor demonstrates that human bodies are capable of conducting electrical charges from one contact point to another. This exhibit has been a gallery favorite for many years and we look forward to hosting it in our new space.


This exhibit demonstrates how strobing or quickly flashing a light changes our visual perception. Strobing can make moving objects appear to freeze in place. It can also make still images appear to move forward or backward depending on the speed of the flashes.