On September 7, 1995, we opened our doors to honor the late Doctor Harold Edgerton. Dr. Edgerton, or Doc as he was affectionately referred to by his MIT students, was a famous inventor and tinker-er who grew up in Aurora, Nebraska.

Doc is best known for his contributions to modern photography. In fact, the National Geographic Society named Dr. Edgerton one of the fifteen most influential inventors of the 20th Century.

For it was Doc who invented the “Stroboscope” that made rapid motion almost seem to stop in time. You may be familiar with some of Doc’s famous photographs such as a bullet shot through an apple and the milk drop forming a perfect coronet. These stop-motion, high speed photographs along with thousands of more were achieved through the invention of his Stroboscope.

Doc Edgerton died January 4, 1990 at the age of 86. On July 3, 1990, in an effort to memorialize his accomplishments, several Aurora community members decided to construct a “Hands-On” science center. It was designated as a “teaching museum,” that would preserve Doc’s work and artifacts, as well as feature the “Explorit Zone” where people of all ages could participate in hands-on exhibits and interact with live science demonstrations.

After five years of private and community-wide funding, as well as individual investments by Doc’s surviving family members, the Edgerton Explorit Center was officially dedicated on September 9, 1995.

While serving as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Doc was often heard saying “If you don’t wake up at 3:00 AM to start testing your ideas then you are wasting time.”

Although we don’t open at 3:00 AM we are here for you to get your hands busy and start testing your ideas.

The Edgerton Explorit Center carries on the legacy of Doc Edgerton by providing you with exciting experiences for hands-on learning.