In physics class, terms like velocity and inertia seem like commonplace. But in the skate park? Not so much. Unless of course, you’re checking out the Indiana State Museum’s latest Rad Science: Skatepark Physics exhibition.

Now through January 3, the immensely popular traveling exhibit will give museumgoers a chance to explore physics principles like inertia and velocity through the lens of skateboarding, with multiple interactive elements that appeal to the entire family. Set in a realistic skatepark scene, Rad Science is complete with ramps, rails, halfpipes and more, breaking down the science of tricks and turns in a fun and engaging way.

"We are excited to host this STEM-based exhibition, which has a strong multigenerational appeal,” said Traci Cromwell, director of collections. “This exhibit does a great job of connecting science concepts to the everyday exploration of skateboarding in ways that invite examination, discovery and hands-on learning.”

Through Rad Science, museumgoers can imagine themselves as skateboarders, extreme athletes and scientists as they explore more than 25 interactive experiences, including:

  • Bodacious Board Balance: Ride stationary skateboards designed to test your balance in classic tricks like "grinding" and "manuals" on the safety of a padded surface.
  • Friction Hill: Experiment with different skate-able surfaces to see what provides the best ride.
  • Newton's Pool: Go inside an empty swimming pool to experiment with the laws of motion and see how a pool's unique characteristics resulted in the origin of extreme skateboarding.
  • History Bowl: See skateboard designs from early prototypes in 1962 through the tricked out boards of today and learn how physics has driven the evolution of decks, wheels and axles.
  • Vert Theatre – View exciting footage of rad skateboard tricks overlaid with the physics principles that make them possible.
  • Wipeout Ambulance: See how inventions like helmets, kneepads and wrist guards have helped dissipate the extreme forces of a wipeout.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the State Museum will also be hosting beginner and intermediate level skate trick clinics on September 12. For more information on these activities, be sure and visit the museum’s listing here.