Our exhibit area is a self-choice, learner-directed environment designed to provide each of our visitors with the tools and freedom to explore science concepts in ways that are suited to his or her individual interests, needs, and learning style. Visitors have the freedom to follow their own pathways in exploring subjects and concepts that interest them, are able to create experiences that are unique to their needs, and ultimately, can construct meaning that is relevant to their lives.
Our visitors can use more than 150 activities in our 25,000-square-foot exhibit area to explore a range of science concepts and discover that learning is fun!
Chew on This!
Come on, take a deeper look at the wonders of your mouth! Explore the human mouth with giant dental tools, get up close to real teeth under microscope, see MRI images to watch the mechanics of your mouth, visit the Smart Mart to discover how the food you eat affects your teeth in an interactive grocery checkout activity, and more! Plus, don't forget to leave your mark by uploading your smile to our digital Smile Wall!
Explore the electromagnetic spectrum and compare different light sources, lenses, prisms and mirrors, and more at this new exhibit! Step up to our life-size Light Mosaic to create your own colorful masterpiece then strike a pose with our Shadow Wall. You can see how plasma reacts to a conductor, experiment with primary colors, and even upload your own light painting to our website
Imagine and discover a world you can't see! In this exhibit, you'll immerse yourself in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. This hands-on exhibit introduces some real world applications and explores the societal and ethical implications of this new technology. Play with magnetic materials, build a giant model of a carbon nanotube, compare levels of static electricity, and more!
What types of structures can you build? How will gravity, tension, and compression affect a structure? Get ready to become an engineer as you build towers or structures with moving parts. Build Zone features large tinker toys, pipe and tubing, and giant blocks. This exhibit promotes team building and problem solving skills. Explore what you can build!
What does the world look like through the eyes of a naturalist? Explore natural environments found in Michigan without ever setting foot outside the science center! With a variety of new technological tools, you'll be challenged to use thinking and inquiry skills as you get up close and personal with living systems, just like a naturalist in the field!
First Impression Room
The First Impression Room is a space for young scientists ages birth to four years to experience and learn about science in a comfortable and creative environment. Complete with family restrooms, private nursing rooms, crocs and raincoats for the water area, and a welcome area for enjoying snacks and more! (more info)
POP! A Bubble Experience
In POP!, visitors will explore how soap and water molecules interact to create the structure of a bubble. In this open-ended and fun exhibit, visitors explore the chemistry of soap films, create beautiful forms and colors, and even stand inside a giant bubble! Can you make a square bubble? Visit us to find out!
Electricity & Magnetism
In this shocking exhibit, students use magnets to make electricity—and electricity to make magnets! Explore the relationship between electricity and magnetism, parallel and series circuits, and how chemical energy is converted into electric currents. Students can also explore how electricity is generated from solar and wind energy!
Light & Color
Explore the electromagnetic spectrum and learn how astronomers use telescopes and spectroscopy to study distant stars. Compare different light sources, lenses, prisms and mirrors, and mix primary colors to make white light! A large projector streams imagery from NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute, and turns the Light and Color room in to a mini-theater!
Make Your Own Music
What does a sound look like? Use a variety of real musical instruments such as a piano, a dulcimer, and others to explore the concepts of sound waves and vibrations!
How can you possible move a 500-pound block of concrete? In this exhibit, you can explore concepts of work and mechanical advantage using a set of activites expressly designed with the Michigan Elementary Curriculum in mind.
The eye is one the most fascinating organs in the human body, and this Giant Eye lets you see it in a whole new way! Walk in to this 7-foot tall model and learn about the anatomy of your eyes and how this incredible organ transforms light into images of the world around you. Surrounding activities provide opportunities for deeper exploration of vision!
Explore rotational motion and you crank up a giant flywheel, develop your mathematical understanding of torque, and spin yourself silly in our spinning momentum chair!
Use this trebuchet to launch different weights across the exhibit floor, and track your results! Where does the energy come from to launch a ball through space? Explore the laws of motion, ballistics, and energy transformations while pitching, launching, and catapulting tennis balls in high-energy activities!
Why do some things float while others don't? Explore concepts of measurement and pressure, experiment with buoyancy and flow dynamics, and see how a boat can move up or down hill through a system of locks! Plus, learn where water comes from in our giant groundwater model!