Unique, Hands-On Exhibits
The Science Mill encourages interactive learning and creative thinking with more than 50 innovative, hands-on indoor and outdoor exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, as well as regular special events with fun, educational activities that the whole family will enjoy.
One of the most popular exhibits is the Fractalarium, a unique experience combining art and science in a 40-foot repurposed grain silo. This larger-than-life lighted representation of Romensco broccoli shows how fractals, or repeating patterns, occur in nature.
In the Bio Lab, visitors can see axolotls and zebra fish (and learn why scientists like to study them). Outside, they can control a 30-foot-tall Colossal Robotic Hand using a mini-hand joystick, or make balls move through a complex system of tracks and pulleys in the Incredible Ball Machine.
In 2019, the Science Mill opened a 1,000-square-foot Aquaponics Greenhouse, where visitors can see how fish, plants and microbes work together in a unique ecosystem to create healthy food. In this experience, tilapia, prawns, koi and snapping turtles provide the food to grow fruit, vegetables and tropical plants in vertical growing tubes, floating rafts and a giant living wall. Kids will have a blast marking off these creatures and plants in the museum’s Greenhouse Bingo game.
In the Science Mill’s newest exhibit, SciDive 4D, visitors put on a VR headset and use their arms to control the full-body motion table, exploring the coral reef from the vantage point of a sea turtle.
The outdoor Science and Art Park features unique experiences such as the Colossal Robotic Hand, the Giant Wave Pendulum, the Incredible Ball Machine, the Fossil Dig and more.
These are just a few of the many exhibits that combine creativity and hands-on learning through art, kinetic technology, augmented and virtual reality, computer gaming and 4D experiences. While each exhibit has a brief description in English and Spanish, visitors won't find lengthy how-to guides or instructions. This is by design, so each visitor can create their own unique Science Mill experience each and every time they visit. Highly trained Explainers are positioned across the museum to answer questions.
A 3D movie theater features short films throughout the day, and the museum’s Science Store has the best selection of science-focused toys, books, games and gifts in the Hill Country. When museum-goers get hungry, the on-site Lady Bird Lane Café, a small farm-to-table restaurant, offers lunches using local and regional ingredients.