Science museum to open gallery

Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

On Saturday, the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond will open the most ambitious gallery in the museum’s 40-year history, Speed.

Revitalizing the Museum’s historic main concourse, the 10,000 square-foot exhibition unveils the mind-blowing intersection of motion and time across a world of science and technology. Speed connects guests to the wonder of our universe through elements of their everyday life.

“This project is the heart and soul of what a science museum strives to be,” says Richard Conti, chief wonder officer, Science Museum of Virginia. “Speed was designed to challenge your perspective on the world — and we think this gallery has done just that.”

Showcasing the first SR-71 Blackbird supersonic jet to ever be suspended, Speed celebrates the splendor of science through numerous one-of-a-kind experiences. The exhibition features more than 50 exhibits and hundreds of unique experiences that encompass topics ranging from space exploration and sports to Wall Street and geologic time.

Guests are invited to race objects using light along the gallery’s 45-foot vaulted ceiling or to feel the force of a 100 mph hurricane. 

Speed offers the opportunity to challenge a robot to a spirited game of air hockey, turn on the world’s slowest machine, race an alligator along a sprint track and compete in a variety of interactive challenges. Other experiences include controlling time, exploring viral outbreaks and capturing motion in a high-speed camera studio.

One can enhance the Speed experience by downloading the museum’s new app, The Muse. App users uncover breaking information about museum exhibits and programs, receive exclusive discounts and see augmented reality that “opens up” the iconic SR-71 Blackbird.

Speed is a permanent exhibition and part of the museum’s Inspire the World Campaign, which is rapidly transforming the Museum into a national destination. Speed is funded in part by the Garland & Agnes Taylor Gray Foundation, the Richard and Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust and Roller-Bottimore Foundation.

Speed is included with museum admission. Exhibit admission is $14 for adults, with a $1 discount for youth and seniors. For more information, visit or call (804) 864-1400.