Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Through March 8
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Bounce into fun at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

It may be small, but the Super Ball sure is mighty. Some might call them bouncy balls, but we call them an artistic feat of physics. Celebrate the world’s most amazing ball at Bounce, a new exhibition at the Children’s Museum, which runs through March 8th at Northside destination.

Did you know that this iconic toy was invented by chemist Norman Stingley in 1965, is made of an extremely elastic material called Zectron and can even leap over a three-story building when bounced by your average adult? Explore all things Super Ball at this unique interactive exhibition, including how this dynamic toy moves, why it looks the way it does, and the fascinating story of how the enduring Super Ball was sold by the Wham-O Manufacturing Co. and came to be an object of wonder and delight in households around the world.

Pop into The Laboratory to strike pedals and handles that make hundreds of small balls pop like popcorn, examine balls under a microscope to see what actually makes them reach gravity-defying heights and move a series of balls by pushing them to the top of posts and causing them to drop, bounce and form cool waves.

Ready to aim high? Head to the Testing and Play Area to see how high you can make Super Balls bounce inside the Free Play Room. The museum’s youngest visitors are invited to experiment with moving balls through and around obstacles and down and up ramps.

Stop into the Gallery to see original artwork from artist, videographer and Chief Sphaeralogist (find out what that means too) Henry J. Simonds. Art and invention will collide, as you explore the history, art and technology behind this cool pop culture phenomenon via Simonds’ colorful collection of Super Ball memorabilia and artifacts. Featured will be more than 30 multimedia objects, such as photographs, dioramas, specimen boxes, videos, prints and illustrations, advertisements and posters, and balls of all sorts of sizes and colors sporting glow-in-the-dark, cosmic, Easter egg and harlequin designs. Be sure to look up to catch the light from a custom made chandelier created from more than 500 translucent and glittery Super Balls.

From noon to 3 p.m., don’t miss the chance to meet Simonds, who will be on hand to help kids complete a collaborative art mural. You can even become a member of the Association of Sphaeralogical Youth by adding your mark and receiving a special token from the Chief Sphaeralogist himself.

Bounce was created in collaboration with Henry J. Simonds and based on his original exhibition, Super•Ball, which won the 2014 People’s Choice award at the Design, Art + Technology Awards.

Prototype for the Bounce exhibition. Photo courtesy of Henry J. Simonds.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.