All staff and visitors ages 5 and up are highly encouraged to wear a face covering.

To ensure our guests’ safety during each visit, the SOAC will be implementing scheduled Climb Times in our Adventure Zone rooms. These will be 40 minute times starting at 10:20AM with 20 minute cleaning intervals between each Climb Time.

All visitors, including members, will be asked to sign up for one of these Climb Times during their visit. Guests are also welcome to call ahead, the day of, and reserve one scheduled climb time per person at (615) 459-9710.

To Have a Successful Visit You Will Need:

  • Up-to-Date SOAC Waiver completed for all family members.
  • Closed-toed Shoes to Climb in the Adventure Zones.
  • Appropriate Clothing to Climb in the Adventure Zones.
  • Bottle of Water with a secure lid.
Click here to see our full brochure

May 20th - September 3rd Come explore the SOAC's newest exhibit, From Here to There.
Read what SOAC staff member, Regina Hampton, has to say about it:

"Summer has arrived and at the SOAC a new exhibit has opened. From Here to There is an interactive exploration into the world of machines and travel. Children always seem to find the magic in things and the way planes fly, machines carry, and hot air balloons float definitely is interesting and intriguing to them. 

The Rochester Museum & Science Center of Rochester, NY, and the Sciencenter of Ithaca, NY, developed From Here to There as part of the Traveling Exhibits At Museums of Science (TEAMS) collaborative. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, From Here to There is sponsored locally by Middle Tennessee Electric.

Discovering how things work is a scientific journey near and dear to my heart. I was always the kid that questioned everything and how things did what they did, so I understand those inquisitive kids who want to learn not just that something works but HOW it works. Going through the exhibit, I have even learned a bit more about some things. 

There are a few water-play areas, including one that explores how ships go up and down hills and one that explores how ships sail on the wind. A section that compares trains, cars, and boats, exploring how they carry weight and move, is another popular location. Kids can also explore pulleys and compare simply pulling a regular set of weights to using a single or double pulley system and how much easier it can be using these devices.

The main attraction for many of our visitors, and one of the coolest things to us as associates as well, is the air transport tubes. Here kids send red, green, and blue balls from one side of the room to the other using pneumatic pressure. With a friend, sibling, or parent on the other side, guests can send the balls back and forth to each other and talk about how and why they travel almost like magic. There is also a hover chair section where kids can explore the science behind hovercrafts and even try out a hover chair for themselves, feeling how easy it is to glide across the space with no friction. 

At "The Right Engine for the Job" area, kids can look into replicas of real 2-cylinder, 4-cylinder, and diesel engines to see how the parts work together, and they can even look for the lights that signify sparks as they turn the crank to make the parts move. There is also a place where kids can see how a hot air balloon rises when it fills up with air and a station where they can explore mag-lev science and see how monorails and other bullet trains move using magnets. Lastly, the ball pit section in the "Simple Machines" area is developed with the smallest visitors in mind where they learn about simple machines through play with things such as dump trucks, scoops, and a bucket and lever.

Science is more enjoyable when learning through play for younger children and older kids can talk about the science behind each station and discuss why the double pulley is easier to lift than the single pulley, or discuss the specifics of how boats use locks to travel up and down hills, making this exhibit good for kids of all ages, even if it is just to get them talking about machines. Stop by the SOAC before September 3rd and explore with your kids or for the kid inside of you who always wanted to know how things worked."