Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a very special science museum for children. Called the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, it features more than 250 interactive science and technology exhibits.
The museum houses nine unique galleries containing exhibits that aid in the exploration of subjects such as physics, mathematics, nature, health, and more, using a hands-on approach. The environment is kept at its informal best, with oodles of fun loaded into the learning process.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is housed in a 100-year-old firehouse. It was founded by a nonprofit organization called the Junior League, in 1982. Initially there were only 25 exhibits housed on two floors.
The first year, the museum attracted about 25,000 visitors. Encouraged by the results, more exhibits were brought in, leading to the need for more space. Gradually, the third and fourth floors of the firehouse were added to the museum.
Financial grants from the National Science Foundation aided in the creation of new exhibits, and the expansion plans. Currently, the museum operates purely on a nonprofit basis, accepting donations from individuals and other organizations.
The exhibits are designed to make learning a fun process. Being interactive in nature, they provide an opportunity to explore the workings and principles of science, math, and technology in a rather entertaining manner.
The exhibits are categorized into different sections, each dealing with a particular subject or science. For instance, there is the “How Things Work" gallery, which deals with the science involved in everyday things.
The latest in technology and innovations are explained in the “MediaWorks" gallery. Prehistoric life can be visited through the Discovery Room. For those interested in 20th century life, there is the Lyons Country Store Exhibit.
Infants and toddlers have their own section entitled “Preschool" gallery. The exhibits cater not only to children but also their parents and other senior people.
Interesting features of the museum are its field trips and science classes. The educational programs are designed by the museum’s own set of educators, who make it a point to keep the science and technology education standards in mind while creating the programs.
These programs conform to the museum’s aim of promoting science literacy through experimentation, exploration, and education.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum also acts as a venue for hosting birthday parties. There is an exclusive Birthday Party Room specially made for such occasions. Moreover, children can celebrate their birthday in a unique manner by participating in a hands-on science project.
In addition to birthday parties, the museum can be rented for hosting a party or function for up to 300 persons.