Six-year-old Sophia Kotler's day started with getting her hair fixed into Princess Leia's signature cinnamon bun-style do. Then she pulled on her white garb and headed to ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum for a day of Star Wars-themed exhibits.
For starters Saturday, Sophia sat down at the scribble droid hands-on station, where she and loads of other youngsters constructed four-legged droids out of berry baskets or cups for the body, markers for the legs and masking tape to hold everything together. After wiring up a small electric motor and AA battery to the droids, they sparked the connection and watched as their masterpieces wiggled and scribbled across white sheets of paper.
"The one that I used didn't work really good, so I just went like this," she said, imaginarily scribbling across a colorful sheet of white paper with her finger. "It's really good ... really fun."
Volunteer facilitator Kendrah Walker, who was running the station, said the activity is an opportunity to learn about charge and circular flow of energy.
"It's a lot of fun and it's very engaging for the kids," Walker said.
Sophia wasn't afraid to cross over to the dark side, Saturday, trying on a Darth Vader helmet for kicks after taking off her Princess Leia dress. One thing she definitely wanted to learn while at the museum, she said, was whether Darth Vader and Princess Leia are still alive.
Star Wars Weekend at ScienceWorks continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at 1500 E. Main St., Ashland. Admission to the museum costs $7 for children ages 2 through 12, $9 for teens and adults, and $7 for seniors. For more information, visit www.scienceworksmuseum.org.
Attendees will learn what would happen to planets in a system with two suns, how they would look suspended in carbonite and what it takes to control lasers. There are also origami Yoda and Darth Vader crafts.
Sunday's stations include a Tatooine moisture-farming exercise, where attendees will learn about how water moves and condenses, a planetarium show, a UFO building and flying workshop and a space time and gravity demonstration.
About 350 people had shuffled through the building by 1 p.m. Saturday.
"Star Wars is something that gets the public's imagination going. It's a really great jumping off point for talking about real world topics," said Harrison Baker, public programs director at the museum. "You don't need Star Wars as a frame of reference to enjoy anything we're doing ... we've got cool all the way through."
In addition to a full program of Star Wars-themed exhibits, all of the exhibits that the museum usually has up are still on display, Baker said.
Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.