The Imaginarium Science Center is an aquarium and science museum located in Fort Myers, Florida. The center holds many tactile and interactive exhibits to encourage learning and active participation. Visitors can touch sea animals in the Touch Tank Experience and see animals face to face in the Animal Encounter Show as well as browsing the many exhibits. The center is open every day with an admission fee for adults and children and children under two going in for free. Pre booked group admission is available. Admission packs can be purchased which include Animal Encounter Shows, all of the exhibits and the Touch Tank Experience. Membership schemes are available for children and adults. The center raises funds through events, Birthday rentals and private parties.
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With over 60 exhibits located both inside the center and in the grounds outside, the Imaginarium Science Center provides education and information through hands on involvement with the exhibits. Visitors can learn about plant life, animal life plus the conservation and preservation of ecosystems as they visit each exhibit.
Within The Animal Lab Exhibition visitors can view white tree frogs, hissing cockroaches and american alligators complete with wooden panelled interior, a spacious area and potted palm trees for a tropical feel. Children can replicate a real prehistoric fossil excavation by digging up hidden fossils from Southwest Florida which are covered by sand and watch a 3D movie called 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea 3D. The Science of Motion exhibit (unavailable during travel exhibitions) displays large scientific structures which are hand operated. Visitors can experiment with the laws of gravity with Isaac Newton in mind as they learn about various forms of energy. One of the most popular exhibits is the Sea-to-Sea Touch Tank which has demonstrations each hour as well as twice daily feeds. Children and adults can place their hands in the tank and feel flounders and stingrays as they breach the surface as well as looking through the glass walls at puffer fish, horseshoe crabs and sea urchins. Visitors must purchase tickets for this exhibit.
A special area called Tiny Town is specifically designed for children under five with a variety of role play areas, educational puzzles, a puppet theatre, sensory shapes and blocks and the Book Nook corner for reading. For older children and adults the mini studio and WIMG Weather Station exhibit allows visitors to present the weather to cameras as if reading the weather report during a TV broadcast. Outside, The Fisheye Lagoon is a large water feature with a crossing bridge and tropical plants and palm trees around the edge. Within the lagoon catfish, carp, Japanese koi and turtles can be spotted in the water and in the sky visitors can catch a glimpse of geese and ducks which may fly past during their seasonal migration.
For locals and those coming from further away the Backyard Nature they can learn about Florida’s landscapes and As well as the lagoon and backyard nature exhibit there are benches for picnics and large water tanks with shapes, toys and tubes for safe water play and exploration.
Ongoing programs and education
The Imaginarium Science Center has a wide range of programs which run throughout the year. As well as daily feeds, the Touch Tank Experience and Daily Live Animal Encounter Programs, the center runs a Summer Camp for 1st to 6th graders to attend and learn about nature and survival in the days before the comforts of modern day life. A further program offered is EiE (Engineering is Elementary) where students from elementary schools and educators can learn about technology and engineering as they develop their understandings further on the topics.
There is a Workshop Program run by the center which is aimed at a range of age groups. Students can make their own design prototype during the Engineering Design Process workshop if they are from the 4th to 8th Grade or attend the Magical Matter workshop and learn about the states and forms of matter if they are from Kindergarden to the 5th Grade. The Exciting Electrons workshop educates 3rd to 6th Graders about building an electromagnet and how electricity, atomic structures and magnetism work. There are many more programs offered and interested parties should call or email about availability.
For educators arranging a field trip to the center, there are three tiers to choose from such as the Basic Field Trip, Deluxe Field Trip or Ultimate Field Trip. An outreach program is available where educators from the center can come to other locations such as schools.
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2000 I Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33916, website, Phone: 239-243-0043