"Did you see the squirmy palm?" a smiling Cindy Adams asked a reporter at the World of Wonders Science Museum in Downtown Lodi.
"You turn it slowly, then look at your palm. It's creepy."
The WOW Museum - open for a temporary basis through Sunday - has one exhibit after another that teaches you how your eyes and ears work. Adams was referring to an exhibit where you turn a circular object clockwise and stare at it for 20 seconds. Then you look at your palm and find out what your eyes actually see. You have until Sunday to find out.
The museum, on Sacramento Street between Elm and Pine streets, opened Friday for a temporary showing. Except for New Year's Day, it will be open through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. because the nonprofit organization doesn't have the money to staff it, said Jay Bell, a WOW board member and exhibit chairman.
Museum officials were encouraged by the weekend crowd, with some 270 people of all ages and sizes coming through the doors on Saturday, Bell said.
One of the most popular exhibits was one that isn't fully operational yet - a flight simulator used to train pilots. However, small children had the time of their lives on Sunday climbing in and out of it. The simulator was donated by Meehleis Modular Buildings, Bell added.
"It's pretty cool that they brought this to Lodi," Zelila Jamison said while looking at an exhibit with her husband, Russ, and children, Ashlynn, 8, and Jason, 6. "You really liked that flight simulator, didn't you, Jay?"
World of Wonders Science Museum at a glanceOpen: Today through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed New Year's Day.
Address: 2 N. Sacramento St., between Pine and Elm streets.
Web site: www.WOWScienceMuseum.org.
Mission: To offer hands-on, science-based exhibits and programs to stimulate discovery for all ages.
Officers: Sally Snyde, president; Dan Ingrum, vice president; Christina Wilson, secretary; Mark Chandler, treasurer.
Source: World of Wonders Science Museum
To which Jason responded, "Everything's cool in here."
Among the exhibits are the birth of the computer chip; how to make a battery; tone memory; how magnets work; how star patterns form constellations; and how to make a paper airplane along with the aerodynamics of a paper airplane.
The museum has many benefits. You can learn all about science, and children can play with the exhibits without worrying about damaging anything.
Adams, who lives in Lodi, said she came to the museum on Sunday after seeing an advertisement in the paper. Furthermore, "My daughter loves science."
"I think it's fun - all the stuff they show you that you don't normally look at," said daughter Kara, an eighth-grader at Millswood Middle School.
Kara Adams especially enjoyed the exhibit of a red bird and green bird, where it explains how your vision changes after staring at one color for a long time.
Museum volunteer Harrison Reese is a science geek.
"I wish to encourage children to become scientists," Reese said. "American children are not exposed to it anymore."
Furthermore, Reese said, WOW is having trouble getting grants from corporations. It's a Catch-22, he said. Corporations won't give grants unless you already have a project completed, but you can't keep it open without grant money.
Reese said he's also learned that many businesses, even in Lodi, aren't aware of the museum effort. Reese found that out while going door to door in the industrial area east of Highway 99. Many of them haven't heard of WOW, he said.
WOW has raised almost $650,000, but Bell says the group could use another $40,000 in the short term and more than that overall.
The museum will be open through Sunday, but then it will be available only for scheduled school field trips until enough money is raised, Reese said. WOW has already reserved field trip dates for February, he added.