Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saint Louis Science Center

St. Louis has this awesome park that runs through the middle called Forest Park. Straddling the southeastern edge of the park is one of America's top five science museums, the St. Louis Science Center. The Science Center campus is made up of four buildings. The James S. McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park, a newer building (the main building) across Interstate 64, the Exploradome next to the main building, and the Taylor Community Science Resource Center. The Exploradome is actually supported by air, so it's like being inside a giant balloon. I wasn't able to get a really good picture of the outside of the planetarium, so I'm borrowing this one from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of public domain media.

That is the exterior of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, a hyperboloid structure by American architect Gyo Obata. Its fantastic eye-catching form hints at what can be found inside. My brother Robbie and I went inside the museum and were immediately wowed by a giant working contraption that whisked colored balls around on rails. This was fun to watch for a while before we bought our tickets and went into the museum.


The museum has lots of hands-on demonstrations of scientific principals along with traditional exhibits. We wandered through the main building before grabbing some food for lunch. After lunch we walked into the inflated "exploradome" and then across the skybridge to the planetarium. In the skybridge, we put together an arch... harder than it looks!! After taking our time looking at some space-race era artifacts, we went back to the hotel in Kirkwood.

1 comment:

Virginia bed and breakfast said...

The Saint Louis Science Center is a science museum with its facilities in St. Louis, Missouri and the Association of Science and Technology Centers has rated the Saint Louis Science Center one of the top 5 science centers in the nation. It is among the largest of its type and, like all science centers, is intended to be a place of informal science education for all ages.