- At The Fleet
The Discoverers [IMAX]Feel the Courage. Live the Adventure.This film will show as part of Senior Monday on Monday, Dec. 2, only. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Daniel J. Boorstin, this stunning film relives some of mankind's greatest moments of discovery, including Magellan's expedition to find the...
Back for a limited run in December 2013! Encounter the wilds of California as you sky surf over San Diego at 150mph, ride down a 25-foot wave at Maverick’s, snowboard the Sierra’s highest peaks and drop 130 feet into the center of a giant Sequoia! From...
What you can't see is right before your eyes!Mysteries of the Unseen World provides you with an incredible look at things that are normally too slow, too fast, too small or too vast for the human eye to see. The film's innovative use of high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy and...
Deep Sea [IMAX]Sea Life in a Whole New WayDirected by San Diego resident and world-renowned underwater cinematographer Howard Hall, DEEP SEA will transport audiences deep below the ocean surface to swim with some of the most exotic creatures on the planet, from the bizarre Rainbow Nudibranch to...
Technology Takes OffExplore aerodynamics and flight technology in the Fleet’s newest exhibition, On the Fly: Technology Takes Off. The exhibition features multiple daily performances by small-scale unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), complemented by interactive stations where...
The Instrument That Rocked the WorldStarting December 20th, the Fleet Science Center will ROCK you! The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is cranking science up to 11 this winter with the West Coast premiere of GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World! Experience the guitar through...
Get Your Hands On ScienceOur Main Gallery exhibition combines some of our all-time favorites with exciting interactive exhibits from San Francisco’s Exploratorium. This collection features opportunities to explore mechanics, motion, math, hearing, electricity and many other...
Celebrate the Season at the FleetBalboa Park December Nights is the largest free community festival in San Diego. Come to Balboa Park and celebrate the holidays with lights, food, music and fun. The two-day extravaganza, Balboa Park's holiday gift to San Diego, features international...
A Live Concert Series Celebrating GUITARThe Fleet is ready to ROCK with our first-ever live concert series! Each show will feature: Two performances: an awesome opening act and a rockin' headliner Food for purchase from The French Gourmet Beer, wine and cocktails available at the no-...
An Early Morning Comet ISON CelebrationCOFFEE & COMETS is an early morning celebration for Comet ISON on Tuesday, November 26, at 5:30AM! This event has reached its registration capacity. SIGN UP FOR THE WAITLIST HERE Comet ISON has raised a lot of hope among skywatchers. The comet is...
The First Monday of Each MonthThe first Monday of every month, seniors 65 and better can enjoy the Science Center exhibits, a show in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater and a lecture on the quietest day of the month for only $8! No coupons or additional discounts are accepted. The Fleet'...
The Science of ROCKOur next Science on the Rocks party is Thursday, January 23: The Science of ROCK! Our most recent party was on October 17. Look for pictures on our Science on the Rocks Facebook page soon. Didn't make it? Here's what you missed: Fall in love with...
Fleet volunteers and interns come from all different backgrounds, each with their own unique skills and expertise. What they have in common is their curiosity, love of learning, enthusiasm, and dedication to creating an excellent guest experience. In...
- Adult Programs
- Family Programs
- Youth Programs
- School Programs
- Outreach Programs
- Family Science Nights
- Guided Tours
- Nierman Challenger Learning Center
- IMAX Films
- Exhibit Galleries
- Home School Classes
- Special Events
- Teacher Guide
- Registration and Field Trip Policies
- Contact the Education Department
- Teacher Professional Development
- Nierman Challenger Learning Center
- Science Blog
- About Us
The Instrument That Rocked the World
Exhibition Opening Friday, Dec 20, 2013
Starting December 20th, the Fleet Science Center will ROCK you!
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is cranking science up to 11 this winter with the West Coast premiere of GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World! Experience the guitar through 60 instruments, nearly 100 artifacts and 15 incredible interactive exhibits. Watch the three-minute video The Physics of Rock Guitar, created by Dr. Mark Lewney, and learn how distortion effects are created by manipulating sound waves. Explore the inner workings of an electric guitar, flip switches and turn knobs in the hands-on exhibit “Inside an Electric Guitar” and dive into the vast history and evolution of the world’s greatest instrument … the guitar!
“Not a fan of rock and roll? Don’t fret, GUITAR celebrates all music—from classical to heavy metal,” says Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Executive Director Dr. Steve Snyder.
In this electrifying exhibition, you will:
- Become a functioning part of a guitar pickup by generating electromagnetic energy.
- Design your own guitar through a touchscreen interactive.
- Feel, strum and hear the different materials used to make guitar strings.
- Play the World’s Largest Guitar. Certified by Guinness World Records, this Flying V guitar is measured at 43.5 feet long and 16 feet wide!
- Plus, don't miss our live concert series celebrating GUITAR!
A Back Stage Look Into a Touring Museum
GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World was created by the National Guitar Museum in 2011. The traveling exhibition is not only teaching people about the history, culture and science of the guitar, but it is an “audition” as well. The National Guitar Museum is looking for a permanent home, and what better way to for the museum to find its main stage than a five year American tour? San Diego is the eighth American city and the first West Coast city to host GUITAR.
Harvey P. Newquist, the National Guitar Museum’s Executive Director and former Guitar magazine editor, wants people to become immersed in the exhibition. Newquist is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, "Guitars are meant to be played. In some cases you'll see guitars that are incredibly beaten up. It was intentional from my standpoint. I didn't want this in any way, shape or form to be a memorabilia exhibit. It's important to us that it not look like some kind of showroom floor." The instruments on display range from the rare and antique to the wildly popular and innovative.
Crank Up the Fun Facts
There is no clear history of where or how the guitar originated. However, guitar-shaped instruments have been noted in European paintings since the 13th century, and actual guitar music emerged in the 16th century.
- Henry the VIII loved guitars so much that he added 21 guitars into his instrument collection.
- In the 1930’s, before electric guitars were invented, resonator guitars were used by guitarists who wanted to be heard over trumpet sections when performing live. The sound of this type of guitar is produced by spun metal cones known as “resonators.” The resonators replace the face, or sound board, of the guitar and amplify the sounds of the strings.
- The Gibson L4 CES was built to satisfy the needs of jazz players who had to be heard over horns and percussion. Jazz guitarist Eddie Lang is credited with making this Gibson model a dominating instrument in the guitar market in the 1920’s.
- The first guitar humbucker pickup was designed for pianos by Baldwin Instruments designer Armand F. Knoblaugh, but it’s Gibson’s 1956 humbucker style that we see on guitars today.
- A “Rock Ock” is the world’s largest, fully playable, multi-neck instrument that takes 16 hands to play!
GUITAR is a touring exhibition of The National GUITAR Museum.
The Guitar exhibition is sponsored in part by Cox Communications and The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.
Nierman Challenger Learning Center
The Nierman Challenger Learning Center at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is a part of a growing network of centers worldwide that are being established by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education in memory of the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger.