Didn’t visit the Science Center in 2012? This is what you missed!

2012 was a big year for us at the Science Center! We made a lot of big changes, and if you visited in 2012 you definitely noticed them. If you didn’t visit, well you missed out on the rollout of some pretty cool things. In fact, we introduced over 10,000 square feet of new or revamped exhibit experiences in 2012 alone. But, do not fret! You can check out what you missed and we’ll have even more fun things for you to see and do when you visit this year.

Back by Popular Demand

Young Boy Playing with Air Cannon at Saint Louis Science Center
A little fun with the Air Cannon
Nano Magnet Properties at the Saint Louis Science Center
Experiment with the nano properties of magnets
8-seater flight simulator at the Saint Louis Science Center
Choose your adventure on the new eight-person flight simulator!
Fossil Dig Site Family Fun at the Saint Louis Science Center
Your whole family can get in on the fun in the new Dig Site!
kilowatt bike in Experience Energy at the Saint Louis Science Center
Exert some energy on the Kilowatt Bike in Experience Energy

You said you missed the fun and interactive exhibits and illusions that made up the Human Adventure attraction, so we made some repairs and reopened the space to the enjoyment of everyone. You can explore Human Adventure located in its former home on the First Floor of the main building.

Once a staple in our lobby, the Air Cannon was hauled out of the warehouse and carefully placed in its new home towards the back of CenterStage on the Lower Level. We can tell that you definitely missed this old favorite! Kiddos play with it all day, trying to see how high they can launch the tennis ball into the air.

New Exhibit, Small Science

Scientists are finding new ways to apply nanotechnology to the field of medicine, the development of electronics and biomaterials and even energy production. Manipulating matter on the molecular scale has already transformed science and will continue to do so well into our future. We think this technology is important and it should definitely be on your radar. It is here to stay. You can experiment with the tiny properties of molecules in the new Nano exhibit made possible by NISE Net, located on the Lower Level of the main building.

New Simulated Experiences

Late in 2012, we introduced our new 8-person Pulseworks Simulator, which can take you on four different adventures. Take off from an aircraft carrier in an F/A-18 Super Hornet or travel out of this world on a fun and fact filled solar-coaster ride. The new simulator is located in Experience Flight, the former Mission Control gallery located in the tunnel between the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and the main building. It is only $5 per person per each simulated adventure.

Play Paleontologist and Prospect for Dinosaur Bones

One of the major additions in 2012, the new Dana Brown Dig Site allows you to uncover dinosaur fossils in a setting inspired by the badlands of Montana (the location of our annual Paleotrek)!  See for yourself why the Dig Site has quickly become a visitor favorite since being installed in the Ecology and Environment gallery on the Lower Level of the main building.

Get Hands-On with Energy

Our biggest addition offering new experiences in 2012 is the Experience Energy attraction! Learn how energy becomes electricity in over 2,000 square feet of new exhibit space. Experiment with solar energy, wind power, and coal. Control the lights in a town by taking over the electrical grid. You can even hop on a kilowatt bike and see how much energy it takes to power your favorite home appliances. You can’t miss this new attraction as it is located just as you exit from the glass elevator onto the Lower Level of the main building.

New Year, New Additions

So there you have it. We often hear you say that you haven’t visited in a while, in some cases in several years, because there hasn’t been anything new for you to do or see. The truth is there are always things changing at the Science Center, but we haven’t seen the kind of changes like we did in 2012 for quite some time. And the changes that we did make are a direct result of your feedback and support. We listened to what you had to say and kicked it into high gear to make it happen. Consider the year 2012 just to be the start of the new experiences you will encounter at the Science Center. We are already starting off 2013 strong!

Right out of the gate, we did a bit of remodeling in the Discovery Room. We added some new interactive experiences for our youngest visitors and rearranged some of the old favorites to make better use of the space. We also brought back the Evolution exhibits which can now be found in the Human Adventure area. Another notable addition would be the Tyrannosaurus rex skull located in the Ecology and Environment area just outside of the Dana Brown Fossil Prep Lab. The cast of the skull also features the cast of part of a real T. rex jawbone our very own Paleotrekers found on their last visit to Montana! The Dana Brown Dig Site located nearby even got updated to provide visitors with more space and a better experience.

Just this week, we reinstalled our Tesla coil with a faraday cage over CenterStage. This fun piece of equipment will be incorporated into a hair-raising live Amazing Science Demonstration. Looking forward to spring, we will celebrate the grand opening of our new exhibition created in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in April.  If you are a big Planetarium fan, you definitely don’t want to miss this free exhibition which will be located in the Planetarium lobby.

We are also looking forward to the installation of two new two-person flight simulators. If you can handle the eight-seater installed last year, you will love doing 360° barrel rolls while battling it out in a dog fight on these simulators! There is so much to look forward to this spring and we haven’t even covered what is coming later in the year!

So you are sitting there, thinking to yourself "how did I miss all of this?" You don't have to miss out on hearing about what is going on anymore! Follow us on Facebook or like us on Twitter to keep up with us. And, don't forget to check back with our blog frequently for more indepth updates.

UPDATE (5/9): You can now explore our new exhibition, Gateway to the Universe: Celebrating 50 Years of the McDonnell Planetarium! This free exhibition is located in the lobby of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium and features a special display of architect Gyo Obata's original design drawing and the blue prints for the building, a new display of the St. Louis made Gemini and Mercury capsules and, among other things, a fun interactive that allows you to create your own laser show!

Tell us in the comment section below what new things you are excited about! What would you like to see at the Science Center in the future?

Written by Staci, Communications

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