Connect with curiosity.

We envision an equitable and inclusive society where people are passionate about science and use it to improve lives, transform communities, and empower future generations.

By creating a place where everyone can discover together, the Saint Louis Science Center is forging the future of our region. We’re putting St. Louis at the center of science, and science at the center of a more connected world.

The Science Center is one of the only free nonprofit science museums in the country, and serves more than one million people each year, making it one of the largest science centers in the U.S. and abroad. Our campus features more than 700 interactive experiences in ten galleries, as well as our indoor-outdoor GROW agricultural pavilion and gallery, our famous McDonnell Planetarium, and a four-story OMNIMAX® Theater.

Our mission: to inspire everyone to be curious and engaged in science.

We are inclusive and welcoming to all.

Science has space for everyone. We value a diversity of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds and know that our differences make us stronger. We cultivate an equitable and inclusive environment for work, play and learning. We welcome people of all backgrounds.

We are community focused.

As a public institution, we are a committed partner in unlocking science and technology’s potential for our community and fostering growth by increasing equitable access to science and education. Through partnerships, we engage deeply with our community and work together to deliver impactful STEM experiences that support community aspirations.

We are forward thinking. 

STEM gives us the power to build a brighter future. We innovate, embracing risk and thinking outside the box. We speak boldly on science-related issues and serve as a leader in the St. Louis community.

We are lifelong learners. 

We strive to continually increase our knowledge and understanding, and we accompany members of our community on that journey through exhibitions, programs, and experiences that encourage deeper bonds with science and technology in our world.

We are playful and curious.

Play is essential. We approach our work with playfulness and curiosity, always looking to make the Saint Louis Science Center more enjoyable and approachable, and to inspire wonder in our colleagues and guests alike.

We are collaborative.

Collaboration is central to how we work. We function as a team and as true partners in our community, embracing respect and honesty as we work together to improve the Science Center and the people we serve.

A proud part of the Zoo Museum District.

The Saint Louis Science Center is one of five cultural institutions within the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District (ZMD). St. Louis City and County citizens and taxpayers support the growth, development, and accessibility of these institutions, which enhance the reputation of our region.

Our history.

The Saint Louis Science Center traces its roots to the Academy of Science of St. Louis, founded in 1856 as the first scientific organization west of the Mississippi River. In 1959, the Academy created the Museum of Science and Natural History in Clayton’s Oak Knoll Park. When the Metropolitan Zoological Park & Museum District (ZMD) was formed in 1971, the Museum of Science and Natural History became a member, independent from the Academy, which continues to operate as a separate entity to this day.

The Museum outgrew the facilities at Oak Knoll Park in the mid-1980s. In 1984, the Museum acquired the McDonnell Planetarium from the City of St. Louis. After extensive renovations, the Planetarium reopened in 1985 as the Saint Louis Science Center.

Following a $34 million expansion to construct the Oakland Building, the Science Center opened November 2, 1991 with a larger footprint that included the OMNIMAX Theater and a highway-spanning connection bridge. The Science Center added the EXPLORADOME in 1997 to provide an additional space for large traveling exhibitions. With the popularity of the EXPLORADOME, the Science Center took action to create a permanent exhibition space. Boeing Hall opened in October 2011, providing 13,000 square feet of dedicated space for traveling exhibitions.

The 50,000 square foot area previously used for the EXPLORADOME was renovated into GROW, a permanent indoor-outdoor exhibit dedicated to the experience of the journey of the food supply from farm to fork. GROW opened to the public in June 2016.

Throughout its history, the Science Center has been a recipient of numerous awards, including recognition by the Association of Science-Technology Centers with its highest honor, the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award. We are a Smithsonian Affiliate Institution and a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the American Alliance of Museums. We are also the founding member of Science Beyond the Boundaries, an international network of more than 270 museums.

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