Monday, May 23, 2016

A visit to the Michigan Science Center

Though I was only seven years old, I still have a vivid recollection of the day my parents took me on an afternoon trip to explore the science center in Detroit. It's been years since I'd paid a visit and my seven year old twins had never been there before. So being they're the same age as my first adventure to the place it seemed a fitting time for a road trip to the Michigan Science Center. Located next door to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood, the Michigan Science Center features more than 250 hands-on exhibits that can be educational and interesting for people of all ages.

Learn how telescopes work and by viewing a representation of the moon through a variety of lenses in the center's space exploration section which also displays a NASA rocket capsule that was one of the highlight's of my childhood visits to the science center.

This astronomy area is also home to the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium which houses a Digistar® II projection system with 13,000-watt Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound that projects upon a 50-foot-wide, three-story-high-dome. Check out a variety of live shows like OUR PLACE IN SPACE.

OUR PLACE IN SPACE begins with a tour of the current night sky and the state of Michigan, then gradually zooms out to reveal the size of asteroids and dwarf planets. Your journey then  continues providing a view of the planets of our Solar System, the Sun, other stars, and finally provides a glimpse of the entire galaxy.

Other areas of the exhibit let visitors explore the fundamental properties of matter, motion, energy, and time.

In addition to the exhibits, the Michigan Science Center also provides a variety of shows and demonstrations.  The  SPARKS ELECTRICITY SHOW provides entertaining examples of various facets of electricity including magnetism, static electricity and plasma.  Demonstrations are also provided on the CHRYSLER SCIENCE STAGE involving topics such as chemistry, physics, and life science.

A highlight of any visit is also watching an IMAX presentation on the largest movie screen in Michigan.  This 67.5 foot wide, five story high dome theater envelopes audience in a thrilling sensory experience.  We saw National Parks Adventure which honors the centennial anniversary of the United State Park Service by taking its viewers on climbing, hiking and sailing experiences through the caves, rivers, forests, mountains and other stunning landscapes within the country's famous, as well as lesser known, parks.

After enjoying the movie it was up the rainbow escalator to head home.  I was always excited by this neon light show as a kid and my own children though it was a great way to wrap up our visit.  We had a great family road trip and if you are in the Detroit area encourage you to find some time to swing by and explore the Michigan Science Center for yourself. There is always something new to discover at the science center!

For more information about the Michigan Science Center, visit

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