Science Central, Fort Wayne IN: Museum Disguised as Colorful, Crazy Fun

The first thing I noticed about Science Central is color, bright colors in what reminded me of a mad scientist’s playground with giant yellow tubes and red hooks and a crazy looking red bicycle contraption on a rail overhead. At first glance you wouldn’t recognize Science Central as a museum. In fact, Martin Fisher, Executive Director, said he doesn’t like to think of it as a museum either, since museums are so often about looking and reading but not touching. The hands-on exhibits at Science Central are meant to teach by doing, and adults are as welcome to participate as kids.

Science Center interiorAmong over 120 interactive exhibits, you can zip through a two-story tube slide, participate in science demonstrations in the Demonstration Theater, or measure your foot against that of a mastodon.

Mastadon footprint

On the High Ride Bicycle, balanced by a counter weight below it, you are strapped on to the bicycle before you take a ride around a rim high above. The safety net, we were assured, has only been necessary to catch items that have fallen out of pockets.

Photo provided by Science Central
Photo provided by Science Central

One of the newest exhibits is Science on a Sphere, a six-foot diameter sphere that seems to float in mid-air and changes from the moon to Earth to other planets like Jupiter or Mars, all in vivid color. Invented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a research tool, you can see the Earth’s storm systems projected real-time onto the sphere.

Photo provided by Science Central
Photo provided by Science Central

A separate area, Kids Central, includes fun activities for kids ages 2 through 7, like a water table, giant keyboard and indoor playground.

What better building to house Science Central than one that was originally a power plant? The 70,000 square foot 1929-era former City Power & Light building seems the perfect venue, with its high ceilings and rustic brick walls. Even the exterior seems appropriate, with smoke stacks rising from the roof painted in bright colors.

Science Central exterior

Science Central, located at 1950 N Clinton Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, is open Wednesday through Sunday (and Tuesday during the summer). Check the web site for hours and admission rates. Note that some of the exhibits follow an exhibit schedule, which you’ll receive upon admission.

Disclosure:  My visit to Science Central was hosted by Visit Fort Wayne and Science Central, but any opinions expressed in this post are strictly mine.

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