AutoMatters & More: ‘Going Places’ — Transportation is fun and interactive at the Fleet

"Going Places" graphic
(Jan Wagner)

We all depend upon the technology of transportation in so many ways, often in ways that we hardly ever think about. Through a variety of fun, interactive activities, the Fleet Science Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park explores some of these various modes of transportation and travel technologies, how they have shaped our societies and how they help to improve our lives by moving people and things.

“Going Places highlights the size of the Earth and demonstrates how natural processes—like gravity, wind, currents, waves, friction and changing landscapes—are overcome by the ingenious designs that have been developed over time. This exhibition takes a closer look at modern technology and gives visitors a glimpse of where our future is headed.”

Sailing vessels
(Jan Wagner)

Paul Siboroski, exhibits director of the Fleet Science Center, added that the exhibit presents some of the science, engineering and math involved in creating transportation systems, building cars, moving goods and much more — on land, water and in the air.

Would you like to learn how to properly pack your car? There is an activity where you can do just that.

One exhibit gives you a basic introduction to the parts of an internal combustion engine. Your goal is to assemble the parts in the correct places and make the engine run.

Design eco-friendly cars of different sizes and with different types of motors, and then compare their fuel efficiency by racing them to see which one can go further before running out of fuel.

A car trunk filled with luggage.
(Jan Wagner)

Fly a blimp and learn about how tricky they are for pilots to maneuver them steadily in windy conditions.

In the news lately have been reminders on how all of us rely on shipping and transportation of our goods over the oceans. One exhibit lets you see how to evenly load containers on a cargo ship, so that it does not tip over. Factors to consider include buoyancy, as well as weight, height and distribution of the containers.

Ride a hovercraft on a cushion of air, as you get effortlessly pushed along by your companion in much the same way that workers can move heavy loads around warehouses.

There is a simulation of a bike course that you can ride, while competing against another cyclist.

Loading containers on a cargo ship.
Loading containers on a cargo ship.
(Jan Wagner)

Another interactive exhibit lets you explore how sailing vessels are moved by the wind. The position of the sail has to change from side to side (called tacking), in order to catch the wind and move the boat forward.

An exhibit about public mass transportation encourages people to explore efficiency with a challenge that involves guiding two accelerating trains, as they compete to see which one can pick up the most passengers from the stations in the shortest amount of time — all while switching tracks and avoiding a head-on crash with the other train.

“Going Places” is a traveling exhibit, developed by Scitech in Perth, Australia, and produced by Imagine Exhibitions. “Imagine Exhibitions is currently producing over 40 unique, educational and exciting exhibitions around the world, in museums, science centers, zoos, integrated resorts and non-traditional venues.” Visit them at:

Of course, there is much more to see and do at the Fleet Science Center. There are over 100 interactive exhibits. The Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater is a state-of-the-art IMAX theater. “For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet hosts school field trips, science workshops and educational camps.” For adults, the Fleet offers community events, such as “Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar” and “Sharp Minds.”

Hovercraft activity
Hovercraft activity
(Jan Wagner)

Established in 1868, Balboa Park is “one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover.” For more information, visit

Experience “Going Places” at The Fleet Science Center through August 24, 2022. To learn more, visit

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Copyright © 2022 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #729