Today's Hours: Open 12p-6p
McWane Science Center Print Logo


McWane Science Center

Rushton Theater

The 108-seat Rushton Science Theater is a state-of-the-art multimedia science learning environment capable of hosting any type of program imaginable. Home to our largest presentations like Combustion and Lightning Strikes, the Rushton Science Theater is frequently home to extraordinary fires and huge bolts of lightning.

Rushton Science Theater is home to McWane’s Tesla Coil. A Tesla Coil is a type of resonant transformer, named after its inventor, scientist Nikola Tesla. Our Tesla coils consist of two coupled resonant electric circuits. Check out how they’re used during our Lightning Strikes! Program. The Tesla coils are on display in Rushton Science Theater.

Rushton Science Theater is also home to a Van de Graaff Generator. A Van de Graaff Generator is an electrostatic machine which uses a moving belt to accumulate very high voltages on a hollow metal globe. The Van de Graaff generator can be thought of as a constant-current source connected in parallel with a capacitor and a very large electrical resistance. Applications for these high voltage generators include driving X-ray tubes, accelerating electrons to sterilize food and process materials, and accelerating protons for nuclear physics experiments.

Scientific Discipline: Physical Science & Life Science