By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Mar 20, 2018 at 6:53 AM

Thanks to a $2 million grant from the We Energies Foundation, Discovery World will get a new immersive energy exhibition called "Power On" that will show how a variety of forms of energy are generated and transformed and how these processes make the world go 'round.

The hands-on experience will allow visitors to touch lightning, tinker with gravitational potential energy, experiment with invisible light energy, consider the energy needs of the modern city, explore how wind turbines function and more.

According to Discovery World spokesman Paul Fladten, the new exhibit will replace the Lubar Innovation Theater, which is currently being gutted so work on the new experience can begin.

"We’ve removed all the theater chairs and are ripping off the panels on the walls so it will be mainly glass looking out at the Art Museum," Fladten told OnMilwaukee. "In mid-January, demolition began on the former Lubar Innovation Theater, with most seats, lighting and stage props donated to the Kenosha Unified School District. The exhibit will also completely modify our admissions entrance and the gift shop."

The permanent exhibit, which includes a number of interactive features, is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.

"The energy experience will allow guests to engage in all kinds of physical activities that are connected to the most important topics and concepts around energy. This powerful, often unseen force will become better understood and appreciated through these highly interactive experiences," said Discovery World President and CEO Joel Brennan in a statement.

"Alongside our partners from We Energies, we’re excited to bring an exhibit to our community that demonstrates how humans have harnessed different types of energy through technological innovations, scientific discovery and persistent curiosity about the world around us."

At the same time, Discovery World is working with We Energies and other partners to develop a new STEM-based energy curriculum that will complement "Power On."

"We are pleased and excited to partner with Discovery World to invite families and students to interact with the vital force that powers their daily lives. We’re hoping Power On inspires the next generation of engineers and innovators who will be integral to the success of our industry," said Beth Straka, vice president of the We Energies Foundation and senior vice president – Corporate Communications and Investor Relations of WEC Energy Group, the holding company of We Energies.

Discovery World is also in the midst of the construction of a new $18 million expansion, slated for completion in July.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.