Exhibit Galleries

The Michigan Science Center features more than 250 hands-on exhibits that explore space, health, physical science, engineering and more.

Highlights include:

Space

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SpaceMarvel at four towering rockets in our Rocket Laboratory for a glimpse into space travel. The models, with cutaway sections showing how they work, are built to 10:1 scale, making them as large as 36 feet tall, stretching from the lower level of the Science Center to the roof and beyond. Feel the rumble of a launch, see how Apollo astronauts traveled to the moon and enjoy hands-on activities. Launch your own rocket to the planets using only air and water, learn how rockets work, and discover how fuel is made!

Peer through three telescopes positioned at varying heights that point to a replica of the moon. Work a Solar System Distance Scale to position each planet the correct scale distance from the sun. See an array of astronomical images displayed along our Dassault Systèmes Planetarium.

Health and Nutrition

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Is it Health Food?Start Working it Off! In this exhibit that stresses the value of fitness and nutrition. Ride a bicycle, walk on a treadmill and propel a wheelchair to demonstrate the effort required to burn off calories. Race to see who can burn off the calorie equivalent of various foods and see the spectrum of calories in various foods from low-calorie broccoli to a high-calorie double cheeseburger. Don’t be a Couch Potato! Take a seat between two overstuffed potatoes and learn how sitting around, watching television and eating the wrong foods could result in a “budding” waist line. Then get up off that couch and step over to the NutriMat and choose from a variety of breakfast foods to see if you are making healthy decisions.

Watch out for the Snack Attack! Whack the fat, salt and sugar right out of your diet. If that doesn’t convince you to make healthy choices, learn the facts behind nutrition labels at the Junk Food Wall. Look behind the labels of real junk food and other foods that you think are healthy . . . but really aren’t! Then move over to one of the Body Mass Index scales to learn What the Scale Doesn’t Tell You. Regardless of your weight, see whether you fall on the healthy BMI range.

Take a trip to As Time Goes By to see, feel and hear what it’s like to have glaucoma, osteoarthritis, hearing loss or Alzheimer’s disease. Discover what you can do to postpone or ward off the effects of aging.

Motion

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MotionExplore the fundamental properties of matter and energy with hands-on exhibits showing circuits, electrical loads and patterns created by magnetic fields. Enter the Lumenarium for an enlightening look into our many waves & vibrations exhibits that investigate microwaves, radio waves, x-rays and visible light. Learn the difference between compression and transverse waves, and don’t miss the laser harp where everyone is a musician as they “play” on invisible beams of light or The Jam Room where music comes alive. Discover the principles of motion including simple machines, rotation, mechanical advantage, aerodynamic forces, pendulums and gyroscopes in the lower level area of permanent exhibits too.

Engineering

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Mackinac Bridge

Walk the Mini Mac Bridge, an 80-foot-long pedestrian bridge modeled after the Mackinac Bridge, while learning about some of man’s greatest engineering accomplishments or stay on the main road to learn about industrial advancements, including the museum’s own roundabout with Roads, Bridges and Tunnels exhibits related to transportation, fuels and infrastructure. A major component of the Gallery, the United States Steel Fun Factory with 39 hands-on exhibits spanning 2,800 square-feet, shows visitors how the manufacturing process turns ideas into reality with the aid of computer design, prototypes, simulations, conveyors, robots, statistics and more. Additional exhibits in this area depict how roads, tunnels and bridges are constructed with displays that explain how various materials used for road construction, such as aggregate, concrete and asphalt, are produced.