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March 4, 2024

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Henderson Space and Science Center opens second exhibit


It's a Gas - Science Exhibit
  • Galleria at Sunset, 1300 West Sunset Road , Henderson
  • All ages Free - $6

Full event details

Map of Galleria at Sunset

Galleria at Sunset

1300 West Sunset Road , Henderson

The Henderson Space and Science Center on Monday opened its second exhibit, “It’s a Gas!” at the Galleria Mall.

A technical problem forced the new exhibit to delay its public opening from Saturday to Monday, but “everything is up and running now,” project manager Ray Shubinski said.

On its first day, a “steady stream” of visitors made their way through the new exhibit, which features interactive activities, displays and live demonstrations that underscore the importance of 11 atmospheric gases from the periodic table, Shubinski said.

In addition to answering questions about gases such as nitrogen, helium and hydrogen, the exhibit showcases classic neon signs and artwork in a darkened gallery.

“It’s a whole lot of fun,” Shubinski said. “(The neon lights) are spectacular and beautiful.”

The Henderson Space and Science Center’s second exhibit is markedly different from its first, “Ends of the Earth,” Shubinski said.

For one, it’s more interactive. Visitors can engage with a number of hands-on pieces, as well as an iPad application that teaches them about the periodic table. Later this week, Shubinski will transform into "Mr. Wizard," leading scientific demonstrations using florescent gases, liquid nitrogen and helium.

“We really wanted to provide a presentation, something by a live presenter,” Shubinski said.

The subject material is also different, he added.

“Our first exhibit was mainly natural history,” he said. “In the second, there is a lot of neon art, but there is also a lot more hard sciences, learning about gases. It’s a very different exhibit.”

A local exhibit manufacturer and event production company, Exhibit IQ, created the traveling “It’s a Gas!” exhibit. Staying local kept the exhibit cost down to $50,000, less than the $70,000 price tag of “Ends of the Earth,” Shubinski said.

“Traveling exhibits are expensive,” he said. “We got quite a bargain because they are right here in Las Vegas. It’s a great thing that worked to our advantage.”

The exhibit will run seven days a week through May 15. Officials estimate it will attract 15,000 visitors to its first floor location in the Galleria Mall during its run. More than 1,000 schoolchildren are expected to visit the exhibit for field trips.

Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 to 17, active military and seniors ages 62 and older. Group discounts are available.

Shubinski said he hopes the center’s next exhibit will take place at a temporary museum site, its location yet to be determined. The facility would allow the museum board to ramp up its fundraising efforts as well as begin storing purchased artifacts.

“I hope it moves forward,” Shubinski said of the plans. “Our goal is to keep presenting science exhibits as we go through the process of developing the actual science center.”

The permanent Henderson Space and Science Center will be built on a 168-acre, city-owned lot near U.S. 95 and Galleria Drive, an area city officials said they hope will become a mixed-used development and popular destination for locals and tourists.

The science center is expected to cost $63 million and is tentatively slated for completion within about five years.

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