FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — What looks like a normal classroom at the Emerald Coast Science Center is actually state-of-the-art infrared technology that transforms the room into an interactive tablet.

Jacie Chandler, Social Media Coordinator for Emerald Coast Science Center said the SciPad with Small Lab came to life a few years ago. ECSC is one of only three museums in the world with this technology open to the public.

“Small lab was basically created to be in like schools and stuff like that, but we’re the third museum that was able to have one in a museum, so we do still use it for teaching purposes, but also for fun to,” said Chandler.

The technology uses 12 infrared cameras around the room to detect a wand-like controller. With different actions and movements, those controlling the wand can play and use the SciPad for education-based games.

Chandler is very hands-on with the technology, designing and making some of the available options like Marvel and Pokemon-themed games.

“There’s memory, some you get to put things in order and sort things out,” said Chandler. “I honestly enjoy making the games. You’ll see a lot of the games in there I’ve actually made. We’ve done some trivia ones. We have an adult night, so I’ve even put some stuff that’s kinda just for adults in there too like the life cycle of beer or the life cycle of wine.”

The SciPad is only available at certain times but can be reserved for parties and other gatherings. Families and guests can reserve a 20-minute time slot for the interactive exhibit, included with their general admission to ECSC between June 1 and Sept. 2 between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Chandler said customized games can also be created on the SciPad depending on the group activity. SciPad also offers multi-player games for those that want to play together.

General Admission to ECSC:

  • Adult Ticket- $12.00
  • Senior (60+) Ticket – $10.00
  • Child (3-17) Ticket – $10.00
  • Child 2 & Under – FREE
  • Member – FREE
  • Military – 10% off with active ID