Sounds make sensational science at summer exhibit

Jayden Vance, 4, explores the "Sonic Sensation" exhibit Thursday. Jayden visited the Hi-Desert Nature Museum with mom Courtney Sachar and grandpa Scott Sachar.

The interactive exhibit “Sonic Sensation” at Yucca Valley’s  Hi-Desert Nature Museum gives people of all ages a chance to experience the sonic world and the sensation of everyday sounds. The educational exhibit lets people explore booths to test their own hearing, make a movie soundtrack, conduct an invisible orchestra and play with high and low pitches on a turntable. There’s also a way to let it all go with a loud roar into the always popular Scream Chamber.

Jayden Vance, 4, explored the exhibit Thursday with his mother, Courtney Sachar, and his grandpa Scott Sachar.

Jayden, who lives in Yucca Valley, said he liked the “How’s your Hearing” exhibit with its different sounds best. The exhibit is an actual hearing machine test.

Stefanie Ritter, museum program supervisor, said the summer exhibition has been a hit with local families. A few classes also went through on field trips when the exhibit opened in May.

“There’s been a lot of screaming,” Ritter said.

The museum provides a different interactive exhibit targeted toward children every summer.

“Sonic Sensation,” which cost about $20,000 to bring to the museum, was developed by the Sciencenter museum in Ithaca, New York. The exhibit closes Sept. 7.

A survey paid for by Yucca Valley in 2017 found that nearly 88 percent of Yucca Valley residents were aware of the museum and 46 percent used it.

The survey discovered the museum’s use numbers were higher than the concerts in the park, summer aquatics and sports programs — higher than everything but the Fourth of July fireworks.

Nearly 90 percent of the people responding to the survey rated the museum’s services as good or excellent. 

The museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. It is on Dumosa Avenue north of 57116 Twentynine Palms Highway. For information, call (760) 369-7212 or visit Entrance is free but donations are welcome.

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