The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus is a dynamic Center of Science and Industry that focuses on inspiring, educating, and engaging young learners and curious minds to gain a better understanding of science, industry, health, and history. The Center does this through an outstanding array of exhibits, displays, demonstrations, and a variety of educational activities and experiences for all ages, as well as daily guided public tours.


© Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

Originally opened in 1964 at Columbus’ Memorial Hall in the downtown area, the Center moved to a brand new 320,000-square-foot facility in 1999. Designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, the new center became one of the largest centers of science in the country and played a significant role in the economic development and revitalization of downtown Columbus.

The Center of Science and Industry works in conjunction with various partners to enrich our guests' experiences, including the Ohio State University (OSU) Labs in Life, the WOSU@COSI television station, which is based in the Center, and the Columbus Historical Society.

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© Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

The Center of Science and Industry features spacious, self-contained atria, each designed as immersive ‘learning worlds’ with their own themes and dedicated topics, similar in style to the world’s fair pavilions. COSI is home to seven main exhibit areas: Adventure, Energy, Gadgets, Life, Progress, Ocean, and Space, which connected by hallways filled with interactive displays and hands-on exhibits.

Adventure is an interactive exhibit where visitors join a mysterious 1930s club called the Explorers Society and get to experience a range of experiences on a lost tropical island known as the Valley of the Unknown. Guests are given a map of the Valley and set multi-level tasks, such as awakening four ancient stone statues which guard the ‘Treasure of Knowledge’ and decoding three different languages in this mysterious, make-believe world.

Energy Explorers is the Center’s latest addition and allows visitors to choose an avatar that follows them around various zones of a town, such as the home, transport and product zones, and help make decisions on how to balance energy efficiency and cost.

The Gadgets exhibit area features a variety of classic scientific experiments and interactive experiences, such as wind tunnels, pulleys, magnets, engines, counterweights, plasma globes, and light bulbs. This exhibit is also home to the Gadgets Café, where visitors are seated and a special menu filled with science experiments to choose from, as well as a ‘take-apart’ menu where guests can disassemble donated clocks, computers, phones, and other electronic devices.

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3.Life Exhibition

Life Exhibition
© Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

The Life exhibition features three separate areas that explore humanity through the body, mind, and soul. The body display features interactive health stations where visitors can record their body weight, heart rate, and flexibility, while the mind area contains physical and optical illusions, an anechoic chamber and a zoetrope. The soul or spirit exhibit delves into the concept of birth and death and how we, as humans, understand them.

The Progress exhibition features a recreated town called Progress, which is modeled after the ‘Streets of Yesteryear’ and traces the hopes and fears of a small town, such as when horseless carriages, electricity, and canned food became available. The 1888 town includes an apothecary, clothiers, grocer, livery, telegraph office, and a stable. As visitors move through the display, they venture into the same town 64 years later in 1962, which offer up a set of new challenges, such as electric appliances, television and radio and gas stations.

Divided into two realms, the Ocean exhibit explores the realities of ocean research and the properties of water through exhilarating displays and activities, such as a crashed shipwreck, an underwater cave, and a docked submarine laboratory, the ancient stone Temple of Poseidon, water jets, fountains, whirlpools, and waterfalls.

Housed in Gallery 3, the Space exhibit is home to a replica space station pod which visitors can explore, complete with a recreation of the Friendship 7 spacecraft from the Mercury-Atlas 6, remote-operated moon vehicles, and an array of hands-on experiments that deal with gravitational pull, spaceflight trajectory, and simulated rover landings. Gallery 3 also houses the Galaxy Theater, once used as a live theater for Space with murals of planets and stars adorning the walls.

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4.Visitor Information

Visitor Information
© Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

The Center of Science and Industry is located at 333 West Broad Street in Columbus and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Museum offers daily guided public tours that are included with admission led by experienced docents who explore the world of science.

Other features within the Center of Science and Industry include the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, an interactive ‘space kids’ area designed for children up to first grade, an outdoor Big Science Park, and a 220-seat, 60-foot diameter Planetarium with all new digital projection. The building also contains three galleries for traveling exhibits and special events, five meeting rooms, the Atomic Café, the Science2Go! retail store.

The Center of Science and Industry offers a variety of educational programs, workshops and outreach programs, including the largest outreach education program of any science museum in the country. Programs featured at the Center including 21st Century Lab field trip experiences, COSI in the Classroom, Interactive Video Conferencing programs for international distance education purposes, and COSI On Wheels traveling outreach program.

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333 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215, Phone: 614-228-2674

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Things to Do in Columbus: Center of Science and Industry (COSI)

  • History, Photo: Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
  • Exhibits, Photo: Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
  • Life Exhibition, Photo: Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
  • Visitor Information, Photo: Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
  • Cover Photo: Center of Science and Industry (COSI)