"The Sultans of Science"

The greatest achievements of history's pioneering Muslim thinkers included advancements in medicine, math and engineering. The greatest achievement of The Sultans of Science, which covers 1,000 years of exploration and innovation in the Islamic world, is letting visitors actually interact with that formidable history. The expansive traveling exhibit, which is making its Houston stop at the Islamic Da'wah Center, covers the eighth through 18th centuries. It features nine visually vibrant "clusters" covering different topics, including astronomy, navigation and architecture. Kids will be captivated by the array of video screens to touch, knobs to spin and buttons to push, but adults, too, will want to peek inside a replica of Ibn Al-Haytham's camera obscura and marvel at the elaborate series of mechanisms that power Al-Jazari's giant elephant clock. (The latter is like an early version of Mousetrap, except it actually works.) Based on some of the whimsical inventions, like the Banu Musa brothers' "trick flask," the Sultan's scholars enjoyed their pursuit of knowledge - no reason you shouldn't enjoy learning about it as well. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through September 7. 202 Main. For information, visit www.islamicdawahcenter.org. $10 to $20.
Mondays-Thursdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sundays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: Aug. 10. Continues through Sept. 7, 2009
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Blake Whitaker
Contact: Blake Whitaker