Shocks & Jolts Exhibit Opens in Time for Summer

May 16, 2023


Children's Museum Houston generates buzz with electrifying exhibit - just in time for summer!

Don’t miss our human chain power-transmitting ceremony!

Thursday, May 18 at 10 a.m.

Sponsored by Oxy and The William Stamps Farish Fund


HOUSTON (May 16, 2023) – Just in time for summer!  Get ready for a shock to your system with an electrifying exhibit like no other!  Experience what the “Shocks & Jolts” exhibit is all about during a stunning opening ceremony where we’ll complete an electric circuit by making a human chain to open our gallery at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 18.  Made possible by Oxy, the exhibit will enable you to:

  • Discover the illuminating field of electrostatics.
  • Examine the properties of electromagnetism.
  • Build and test your own electrical circuits.


“Electricity and electronics area natural part of every child’s daily interaction, from turning on the lights in their room to working on tablets,” said Keith Ostfeld, Children’s Museum Houston Director of Educational Technology and Exhibit Development.  “Through these experiences, we hope kids can build insight and understanding related to the nature of electricity.”

This hands-on, bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibit will provide you with the opportunity to explore the exciting topic of electricity and investigate its properties, generation, and uses.  You’re invited to ask questions, explore, experiment and make discoveries about electric circuits, electrostatics, and electromagnetism.


The exhibit is divided into three main topic areas.  What is often overlooked is an explanation for how it is possible – why electricity behaves the way it does and how it can be harnessed.



  • Plasma Tubes:  Watch as captured plasma follows your fingers behind glass.
  • Jacob’s Ladder:  Witness the classic “mad scientist” prop with a giant, climbing spark – are you able to stop it with your breath?
  • Electrostatic Experiments: Become the experiment and the experimenter as you build up an electrical charge on your body and see what that charge can do!



  • Electromagnetic Launcher:  Using electrical current to generate magnetic fields, get the projectile to top the launcher before anyone else in this fun game!
  • Electromagnetic Chain:  Use a magnetic field to link as many washers as you can.
  • Ring Launcher:  Watch what happens when a metal ring is exposed to a magnetic field made by electricity flowing through a coil of wire.
  • Bicycle Generator:  Power up a variety of devices by pedaling to generate electrical energy.
  • Hand Crank Generator:  Turn the crank to generate electric current to power different items!
  • Build-a-Motor:  See and explore how an electrical motor works!




  • Musical Benches:  Become part of the circuit! Can you figure out how to play a melody in this cooperative experience?
  • Circuit Challenges:  Build and solve electrical circuit challenges.
  • Snap Circuits:  Construct and bring to life your own electrical circuit creation!