Paul Dennis Science Hall

The Paul Dennis Science Hall has lots of hands-on activities that will entertain and educate children and adults. Be sure to visit the Science Hall before or after your Planetarium Sky Theater experience. There is no charge to visit the Science Hall, so stop by and enjoy!


Kids enjoying the Hurricane Simulator.

Kids enjoying the Hurricane Simulator.

During your visit to the Paul Dennis Science Hall, be sure to experience Category 1 hurricane force winds in the Hurricane Simulator. Step inside the simulator and watch the display counter increase as wind speeds begin to slowly build to a maximum of 78 miles per hour (mph). Average wind speeds for Category 1 hurricanes are 74 to 95 mph; inside the hurricane simulator, you will experience Category 1 hurricane force winds in a controlled, safe, risk-free environment. There is a $2 charge to use the hurricane simulator. The simulator accepts cash and credit cards. The simulation lasts for one minute. Up to four people can fit comfortably inside the simulator but there is no set limit.


Check out the Augmented Reality exhibit in Ingram Planetarium’s Paul Dennis Science Hall. It’s free, and it’s amazing!

In technical jargon, Augmented Reality, or AR, is a live, direct, or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are enhanced by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, or graphics. As a result, AR enhances one’s perception of reality.

In non-technical terms, AR is just “really cool,” according to Charlie Griswold, age 11, a recent visitor to the Planetarium. Charlie is shown above with educator Maria Knapik. Maria is showing Charlie how AR can make lifelike 3-D images jump off a book’s page and appear on a handheld tablet computer. The images can be manually manipulated and are accompanied by an education soundtrack.

The Planetarium’s Galaxy Gift Shop sells AR Planets 3-D books and Learning Cards so visitors can take Augmented Reality home with them.