Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, specializes in interactive exhibits with the goal of helping both children and adults discover the scientist within them by promoting science literacy through experimentation, exploration, and education.HistoryThe Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum was founded in 1978, with approval from the city of Ann Arbor, as a touring collection of exhibits built by local specialists and volunteers.

The museum opened at its permanent location in 1982 in the city's historic brick firehouse with 25 exhibits on two floors, one staff person, and ten volunteers.During the museum’s first year of operation, it welcomed 25,000 guests. Children and adults both expressed great curiosity and enthusiasm, which pushed the museum to accelerate its expansion plans. Four years later, the museum opened the third and fourth floors of the firehouse with the help of a Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant. In 1993, the museum purchased several adjoining buildings, which led to the introduction of expanded facilities and educational programs in October 1999. Five separate grants received over several years from the National Science Foundation funded the creation of new exhibits, including "How Things Work" and "Solve-It Central", which toured through many science museums throughout the United States and Canada.The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum now features over 250 interactive exhibits on subjects including physics, geology, math, music, and technology while entertaining over 200,000 visitors each year. More than just a local attraction, the now over 40,000 square foot museum has become a regional destination that draws more than 60 percent of its visitors from outside the Ann Arbor area. The Detroit Free Press named it the Best Museum in 2003, and the museum has also received national recognition by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Association of Science and Technology Centers.

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Ann Arbor, MI


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