Whether it’s just for an afternoon or becomes a place you visit again and again, the Arizona Science Center has a lot to offer. The fun and educational approach to scientific understanding makes it the perfect educational opportunity for the kids, while still being interesting for mom and dad.
The number and range of exhibits is astonishing—there’s more than 300 on permanent display throughout the seven themed galleries spread across four floors. This is no musty trek through endless plaques, however. Everything’s interactive, and the exhibits are brightly colored and well-designed. Even if museums usually bore you you’re sure to have a good time at the AZ Science Center.
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There’s far too much to see to describe even a good sampling of it, but here’s a few examples. The W.O.N.D.E.R. Center is an exciting exploration of the human brain. The name is an abbreviation for Walton Optimal Neurological Discovery Education and Research Center, a mouthful that really just means here’s a place where you’ll get to handle an unbelievably realistic model brain, watch brain surgery in action and look at the cranial contents of a bunch of different animals. Forces of Nature is all about fire and water—a cutaway globe lets you see to the center of the earth, while the 5-minute Immersion Theater puts you in the center of wild weather like monsoons and and tornadoes. In My Digital World it’s all about forms of communication, from hands-on computerized art to ham radio.
And there’s plenty going on, as well. Daily Demos are 20-minute presentations by educational staff that take place all over the museum, … The camps the Science Center sponsors are worth checking out, too—some are just a day long and some are a week, covering exciting topics like the habitats of the world and forensic science. The preschool Saturday science classes are a great once-a-month introduction to scientific concepts for the youngest visitors, and the Pathways program provides field-trip or family labs where children can use a microscope and learn all about biology. And if you homeschool your kids, the Arizona Science Center has class opportunities designed especially for you, as well as the annual science fair.
The center is just southeast of the Papago Freeway in Central City, a block west of the Children’s Museum. Adults are $18/person, children 3-17 are $13/person (2 and under are free).
Arizona Science Center
600 East Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004