Edgerton Center entering phase two of re-opening

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Summer camps still full steam ahead, new exhibits open

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The Edgerton Explorit Center began hosting its summer camps just a few weeks ago. Now, they’re ready to take the next step in re-opening.

The science center is reopening for appointments beginning Monday with several new exhibits for those to take a look at.

Executive Director Mary Molliconi pointed out that phase one of opening with summer camps has gone reasonably well and they’re ready for the next step.

“With summer camps, we can control the numbers and what they’re doing,” Molliconi said.

Those interested in reserving a spot at the Edgerton can do so by appointment by calling the center at 402-694- 4032 or on their website.

The timeslots available go from 9:30-11:30 a.m., 12-2 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. The half hour between sessions gives the employees a chance to clean and sanitize before the next group.

Molliconi pointed out that phase two of re-opening only just started and there hasn’t been a ton of dates scheduled yet as families become more comfortable with going out and doing things.

“People need to do what they’re comfortable with,” she said. “We are requiring people wear masks when they’re here and social distancing if they’re not with their family unit.”

The Edgerton’s three new exhibits include an augmented reality rock wall, a magic mirror exhibit and one called Laser Island.

The rock wall is a three meter by four meter wall with a state of the art interactive projection system that as climbers are on the wall, it projects images and games onto the wall can play.

“There’s something like 10 to 12 different things you can go through on there for those of all ages,” Molliconi said.

The augmented wall is sponsored by the color trust as well as the 529 nest college savings plan.

There’s also an actual climbing wall nsored by the alongside sponsored by the Aurora Fitness Center for little kids to use tied to the physics of rock climbing.

The wall was just completed and ready for those to use in the days leading up to the closure that began in March.

“We had all the grant money and it was up ready to go just before the closure, so no one has really used it yet,” Molliconi said.

The magic mirror is an interactive projection system with kinect technology. Kids can draw a picture, have it scanned in and have it show up on the screen.

“For example, a kid can draw a car and decorate it however they want, scan it in, and see that car drive through a city,” Molliconi explained.

The mirror also has plenty of games and activities for kids to do that can be changed out every so often to keep things fresh, like being an astronaut on the moon or catch eggs in Easter baskets.

The Laser Island has everything from fiber optics to strobe lights and lasers. A laser travels through an acrylic tube and campers can see how light travels.

The Edgerton has also seen a facelift with new paint and floors in the bathroom during the closure.

“We had been planning on doing some of this stuff for awhile and with the COVID situation it gave us the time to do the things we needed to do,” Molliconi said. “We did what we could to make the best of the situation.”

It’s also the fifth year of the Edgerton selling fireworks in the parking lot with the money raised going toward educational programming.

“We get our student workers out there to cover the stand so it’s great for them and gives them an opportunity to get some experience with sales,” Molliconi said.

More than anything, Molliconi is excited to open the doors of the Edgerton again and see the kids come through to learn and have fun.

She pointed out the first couple weeks of summer camps have gone well with kids coming and going, but also pointed out there’s still spots available throughout the summer to get involved.

“We just encourage people to come out and visit,” Molliconi said. “We just want kids and families to come back in and find some type of normal again.”

‘People need to do what they’re comfortable with. We are requiring people wear masks when they’re here and social distancing if they’re not with their family unit.’

Mary Molliconi

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