Just visited the Maryland Science Center Baltimore Inner Harbor. I haven’t been there in a year or so and there are a lot of fun new exhibits along with some old favorites. The museum offers lots of STEM learning opportunities and has something to entertain children of all ages.
Journey Into Space
We normally start at the bottom and work our way up. But, we wanted to hit Science on a Sphere first so this time….and we are glad we did! Science on a Sphere offers a fascinating guided tour of our solar system planets on a roughly 5 foot rotating sphere (hence the name).
The displays on the sphere are taken from NASA and weather data and change to show various views. We were able to see the side of the Moon that is not visible from Earth. We also saw a projection of the Jupiter moon Europa and learned that it has a Geyser that is 100 mi wide high that immediately turns to ice crystals!
These live presentations are only offered once a day at 2:10 pm and they are worth attending! Head up to the Second Floor of the museum to find it. Tip: If you have impatient little ones with you, they can play on the computer screens near the sphere while you listen.
I wish I could DVR this tour and watch it again, but I guess I’ll just have to go back again!
Life Beyond Earth
Right outside of this area is Life Beyond Earth. From these exhibits, we learned that there are now over 4,600 discovered exoplanets – planets that orbit a star other than the sun outside our solar system!
And, don’t miss the SpaceLink room with hands-on building exhibits, NASA uniforms you can try on, and several different interactive computers, including one that will answer everyone’s most burning intergalactic question….how do you go to the bathroom in space?! (I’ll give you a quick hint…it sucks!)
We also caught the “We Are Aliens” show in the Davis Planetarium. This was an interesting 30-minute video that explained that the possibilities of alien life and what is needed to discover it within the solar system.
Can’t Miss These Exhibits
The Maryland Science Center also has some pretty intriguing biology activities that focus on the five senses at In Your Body. This area is also on Level 2. Challenge yourself to a game of What’s that smell? Lie on a bed of nails or even hypnotize your kids (sorry — the last one is just a joke).
Make sure you make it up to Level 3 to see a fantastic view of the harbor too!
Maryland Science Center Cheat Sheet
Aside from the cool exhibits on the Second Floor, there is plenty to do elsewhere in the museum. Here is a quick cheat-sheet so you can hit the ground running when you get there:
- Life-Size Dinosaurs, Hands-On Dig Site
- Newton’s Alley (interactive STEM activities for all ages)
- IMAX Theater, Science Store, Café, Coat Room
- Space & Life Beyond Earth
- Your Body
- SciLab* – Science experiment lab for Grade 3 and up (15 min sessions)
- Planetarium – rotating programs throughout the day
- Alternate IMAX theater entrance
- The Shed*– special scheduled daily DIY STEM activities
- Power Up – hands-on electrical exhibits and activities
- Kids Room* – interactive learning for 0-8 yr olds featuring sea creatures, a section just for babies, and a climb-thru ship for older kids
- Demo Stage – daily presentations on science and geography topics
- Follow the Blue Crab – live aquatic creatures & Chesapeake Bay focus
- *NOTE: The Shed, Kids Room, and SciLab close 1 hour before the museumCheck the web site for Maryland Science Center discounts and validated parking options.
Can't make it to the museum? Check this site out to learn about space and science online: https://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/about/index.html