Pacific Science Center located in Seattle, Washington is a non-profit science museum sitting on 7.1 acres (29,000 m2) of south side of the Seattle Center. Like many museums, Pacific Science Center creates, builds and rents many traveling exhibits. Pacific Science Center also has a fleet of vans that provide science education to schools all across the state. A division of staff workers show teachers in the state how to teach science.
Its original buildings were the United States Science Pavilion, part of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. After the fair ended, the museum was re-opened as the Pacific Science Center. The land and buildings were leased for $1.00 a year until 2004 when Pacific Science Center Foundation officially took ownership. The complex was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who also was the architect of the World Trade Center in New York.
In the 1960s, many exhibits were carried over from the original World’s Fair exhibition, though only a few of these original exhibits remain, such as the Lens and Mirror machine and a suspended moon. One of the most notable exhibits at the time was a ramp where the buildings were built at a tilt (the “illusion ramp”). This exhibit was reproduced in the late 1990s.
In the mid 1970s, the lower-level math area was dominated by the IBM Mathematica exhibit where demonstrators in orange jackets (“OJ”s) made soap bubbles and showed audiences how the stylish new Chevrolet Chevette was paving the way for the quick adoption of the Metric system. Pacific Science Center grew exponentialy in the 1980s after the hiring of George Moynihan as Director in 1980. In 1984 the science center took a gamble on hosting the exhibit “China: 7000 Years of Discovery.”and the success that followed helped put Pacific Science Center on the map as a leading science center. Other notable successes later in the decade were several iterations of a traveling robotic dinosaur exhibit, which led to the center eventually installing a permanent dinosaur display in the 1990s.
Pacific Science Center attractions
Today the museum is composed of 8 buildings, including two IMAX theaters, one of the world’s largest Laser Dome theaters, a tropical butterfly house, a planetarium, and hundreds of hands-on science exhibits. In addition to the many permanent exhibits, Pacific Science Center has offered a constant rotation of traveling exhibits, including notable exhibits such as “China: 7,000 Years of Discovery”, “Titanic: the Artifacts Exhibit”, “Discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls”, and most recently “Circus: Science Under the Big Top”. In 2012 they are scheduled to host “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs”.
Things to do
There are a lot of things to do at Pacific Science Center covering all aspects of science : health, games, computers, physics or biology.
Children love to hang out with dinosaurs at A Journey Through Time, which features animatronic dinos realistic enough to be almost scary. At the Tropical Butterfly House and Insect Village, kids can explore the world of arthropods through interactive exhibits and displays of some cool live bugs, including butterflies. In the Tech Zone, sports fans play a game of virtual reality soccer or manipulate heavy machinery to perform simple tasks. The Willard Smith Planetarium offers free star shows at different times during the week. Two IMAX theaters, the Boeing and the Eames, show various films daily. The Laser Dome features such gems as Laser Creed and Laser Zeppelin.