Museum of Discovery#9 in Best Things To Do in Little Rock
Price & Hours
Founded in 1927 and reimagined in 2012, the Museum of Discovery has long been the place in Little Rock for patrons to learn about the sciences. Permanent exhibits include "Earth Journeys," which explores Arkansas' weather patterns and its native fauna; "Amazing You," which explains how our bodies function; and "Tinkering Studio," where patrons can build and play with all kinds of materials. Visitors can also enjoy the Tornado Alley Theater, which explores the devastation of the 1999 tornado that ripped through Little Rock, and the Tesla Theater, which houses a Tesla coil that produces a high frequency of plasma (or lightning) that can be manipulated to play songs.
Families raved about the museum, saying it's the perfect place to take kids on a rainy day. They also encouraged future patrons to make time to see the Tesla coil demonstration.
Tickets to the museum cost $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 12 and younger, seniors, teachers and the military. It welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The Tesla coil demonstration is free with your ticket, but the show is offered at certain times during the day; contact the museum for the schedule. Visit the museum's website for more information. You'll find the museum in the River Market district nearby the bank of the Arkansas River.
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#1 Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
In 1957, nine Black students enrolled at Little Rock Central High School. The school had been all-white since its construction in 1927. Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Wells were the first Black students at the school following the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that school segregation was unconstitutional. The day the students went to school, they were met with a racist mob of white students as well as about 270 soldiers who barred the entrance to the high school. It took almost two weeks before the Little Rock Nine were able to access the building. Though they were able to enter the school, they faced physical and verbal abuse throughout their high school careers. The Little Rock Nine's historic and brave acts helped to spur the civil rights movement and brought national attention to the U.S.'s racist practices.
Today, Little Rock Central High School is a National Historic Site and is still a working high school. The associated visitor center sits kitty-corner to the school and features exhibits about the desegregation crisis as well as a book store. There is also a Commemorative Garden. Tours of the exterior and interior of Little Rock Central High School are also available, but must be reserved in advance through the National Park Service.
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