Michigan Science Center

Situated in Detroit, Michigan, near the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Film Theatre, Museum of African American History, is another Detroit institute of learning - the Michigan Science Center. The Science Center is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) hub for the state of Michigan. Featuring more than 250 activities, this science destination is a fun and interactive experience. Unlike many other science and discovery hubs, the Michigan Science Center also features live shows and demonstrations, making visits much more engaging for visitors.

Other attractions include an IMAX theater, planetarium and learning labs. Using all of these tools, the Michigan Science Center works to accomplish its mission to inspire people of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate the STEM subjects in a dynamic environment. Per the Center's CEO, Tonya Matthews, the organization strives to be a places where "people with questions go." The Michigan Science Center brings together the various STEM disciplines to show visitors how they interact with and complement each other to create the world we know and the world we imagine it to be in the future. Michigan Science Center



The permanent exhibits at the Michigan Science Center are organized in several primary areas. Engineering sparks the desire to build and create, using robots, bridges and a mock factory. In Health and Wellness, visitors explore the science of the most amazing machine ever imagined - the human body. More than this, this exhibit helps to teaches guests how to best care for this incredible machine that takes them through life. Photo:

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»More Exhibits

More Exhibits

The next permanent exhibit, Kid's Town, is just what it sounds. A special area designed for kids aged two to five, this exhibit is literally a miniature town, sized to scale for its toddler sized visitors. Here, kids develop their motor, social and sensory skills exploring a world made just for them. The Motion Exhibit makes big, important and complex concepts, like the way matter moves, and translates it in fun and engaging ways. Using tools like magnets and electrical circuitry, this exhibit gets to the crux of what STEM is all about. In the final permanent exhibit, SPACE, visitors can imagine how using the tools taught through STEM disciplines can take them to worlds beyond our own. Space shuttle and literal rock science is on display here, as well as lots to educate about our solar system.

In addition to the permanent exhibits on display, the Center also features changing Special Exhibits. Such exhibits will focus on a particular topic, such as animals that make their own light, to pique the interest. Other past exhibits that really get the imagination going have included a focus on innovation and how ideas are generated, as well as the wonders and joy of construction, encouraging kids to build their own structures. Photo:

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»Live Shows and Theater

Live Shows and Theater

Many science attractions are all experiments and activities, but the Michigan Science Center goes above and beyond, offering live entertainment, as well. Themes of the live shows include DTE Sparks Theater, which hosts a show completely dedicated to electricity. The Chrysler Science State features changing presenters discussing a variety of science topics.

In addition to the live stage shows, the Center is also home to three different theaters, showing sciences inspired features. The Dassault Systems Planetarium, with its 50 feet wide screen practically transports visitors to other worlds and galaxies, in this immersive experience with surround sound. The Chrysler IMAX Dome Theater is even bigger, coming in at more than 67 feet wide. With high picture quality and comfortable seating, the Dome theater is a must see during a trip to the Center. The final theater takes movie watching to a whole new dimension, in the Toyota Engineering 4D Theater. More than just images on a screen, during this experience, visitors feel the seats move, the wind in their faces, and maybe even a sprinkle of water. Photo:

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If exhibits, stage shows and immersive theaters weren't enough to keep anyone occupied, the Science Center has even more. Two on site labs, the Centennial and Cell Labs provide a real life laboratory for exploration. Staff on site helps visitors conduct their own experiments and see what it would really be like be a scientist. Activities focus on certain scientific foundational scientific themes. At Explainer Stations, found periodically through the Center, provide the opportunity for guests to ask questions and interact with Center staff. More than just a conversation, however, these stations also feature experiments, scientific tidbits and more. Photo:

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With such an emphasis on scientific learning, it is no surprise that the Michigan Science Center has robust resources for educators. These resources include not only field trips to the Center itself, but also the opportunity to have the Science Center come to the classroom via Traveling Science Educators. Educators can also receive training themselves, lending programs, resource packets and more. Homeschool Learning Labs are also available, as well as summer camps for science enthusiasts. The STEMinista Project, offered through the Center, works to promote STEM subjects and interest among girls in fourth through eighth grades. The program provides newsletters, events and education to generate the spark of science in young women. Photo:

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»Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit

The Center offers a variety of different packages based on which theaters and shows visitors would like to attend. In order to best plan and select, visitors are advised to review the Center's calendar and package options prior to visiting. Additionally, as the Center is not open every day, it is advisable to review hours of operation prior to arrival. Easily accessible from freeways and bus routes, with public parking available nearby. Virtual tours, as well as the Science Blog is also available online, to educated and illuminate all that the Center offers.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Detroit, Michigan Address: 5020 John R Street, Detroit, Michigan 48202, Phone: 313-577-8400 Photo:

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Best Day Trip Ideas: Michigan Science Center in Detroit