The force is coming to Exploration Place.
Officials said Monday that the Wichita museum has landed its largest traveling exhibit to date: "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" will open in May 2012.
"It's one of those exhibits that has a lot of appeal for children and adults," said Jan Luth, Exploration Place president. "We're very excited."
The exhibit features more than 80 costumes, models and props from all six "Star Wars" films, including an original Yoda puppet, a reproduction of the Millennium Falcon's cockpit and a case filled with detailed replicas of lightsabers used by Jedi in the films.
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But the exhibition, created by the Museum of Science in Boston, focuses primarily on the science behind the films. It was developed in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., with support from the National Science Foundation.
"'Star Wars' is the vehicle for learning all sorts of scientific concepts," said Christina Bluml, communications manager for Exploration Place.
Activities encourage visitors to defy gravity, manipulate robots and engineer droids. After examining Luke Skywalker's landspeeder, for example, visitors find out how things move without touching the ground in the real world, from models of flying cars to commercial spacecraft.
Since 2006, the exhibit has appeared in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Fort Worth and Sydney, Australia. It is currently at the Lafayette Science Museum in Lafayette, La. Prices for the exhibit at Exploration Place have not been released.
Officials also are preparing for next summer's "CSI: The Experience." In that traveling exhibit, based on the popular television show, visitors explore the world of forensic science by gathering evidence from fake crime scenes and autopsy rooms and testing it in laboratories.