Get in Motion for the Spin Exhibit at the Imperial Centre

Did you know the earth spins at roughly 1,000 miles per hour at the equator?

Are you dizzy yet?

Don’t worry, you won’t get dizzy because the speed is constant.

It’s the same principle of why you don’t feel much motion when a plane is at a cruising altitude. You only feel it when it starts and stops on takeoff and landing.

As long as the motion is constant, you don’t feel it. 

If these facts interest you and you’d like to explore the science behind them, you’ll want to check out “Spin,” the latest showcase at the Rocky Mount Imperial Centre.

Through hands-on exhibitions, visitors can learn the science behind centrifugal force and the effect weight has on rotation.

There’s even a chance to get into a human centrifuge and feel the power of spin for yourself. 

In addition, if you’re feeling a bit like you have the need for speed, you can see how fast your car will go in the “Fast Lane.” (Not literally, of course. We’re still talking about the exhibit.)

“Spin” opens on September 21 and runs through December 31

What You Need to Know in Order to Go

The Children’s Museum and Science Center at the Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Admission is $6. Sundays are a special treat for local citizens---Rocky Mount residents can attend the museum for free.

The Cummins Planetarium

In addition to the exhibit, the center also offers laser light shows and other programs at the Cummins Planetarium.

This is the first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full digital projection system for its 30-foot dome. It opened in 2006, and since then has been one of the favorite highlights of the Imperial Centre.

While it seats 50 people, tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. 

But if you want to see a show at the planetarium, be sure to arrive on time—due to its unique environment, for the safety of visitors, no late seating is allowed. 

PNC Live Animal Gallery

There is also a permanent exhibit you can check out while you’re at the museum for the “Spin” exhibit. The PNC Live Animal Gallery offers a perfect picture of the variety of local animal life.

In addition to detailed wall displays, one of the favorite features is Willy’s Crab House, which has a 2,800-gallon saltwater aquarium where you can gently observe and interact with animals who call the Atlantic Ocean home.

If you’re interested in one of the Live Animal Encounters, just speak with the museum assistants, who conduct these programs for visitors. 

The Imperial Centre of Rocky Mount

The Imperial Centre in Rocky Mount is a rich and entertaining hub for the arts and sciences. In addition to the Children’s Museum, there’s also a planetarium, art galleries, community theatre, and a variety of arts and crafts classes available.

The design of the center hearkens back to the days of the Imperial Tobacco Company, which was based in Great Britain but had a branch in Rocky Mount.

For more than 65 years, it was a leader in the NC tobacco industry. From the large, 90-foot brick chimney to the curing ovens, the history is embossed across the center’s architecture at every turn.

The structures date from the early 1900s. Later, it was the home of a hand and machine stemming and ordering facility. 

To learn more, check out our previous article about the History of the Imperial Centre.

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