Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater

Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater Located in Downtown Des Moines, SCI is a center devoted to lifelong learning that features a variety of interactive learning experiences and fun for participants of all ages! Follow us on Twitter - @sciowa & Instagram - @sciowa.

Experience the Science-Surrounds-Us-All Actuality at this 110,000 square-foot creative lifelong learning center in the heart of Downtown Des Moines. By placing the power of learning in the hands of the visitor with interactive experiences for all ages, the emphasis at SCI is less on what to learn and more on how to learn. About the IMAX Theater: SCI's six-story dome screen wraps you in larger-than-life images that surround your field of view and envelop you in the action. The 12,000-watt digital surround system lets you hear everything from a tiny drop of rain to a huge clap of thunder with crystal clarity. Challenge your sensory perception with a uniquely immersive movie experience! The Blank IMAX Dome Theater may show films outside SCI's regular facility hours. View films and showtimes at www.sciowa.org/imaxshowtimes

06/23/2019
Code a Dinosaur Dance

We had a blast testing out the Innovation Lab Workshop activity.

Learn how to code your own project during our Innovation Lab Workshops this week. Workshops are:
• Monday through Thursday - 1:00 pm
• Friday - 11:00 am
• Saturday - 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Workshops are $5/person. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2xbtpy4

06/20/2019
DNA microscopy by Joshua Weinstein/Broad Institute

You're looking at DNA microscopy, a new imaging tool that's basically Google Maps for cells. Google Maps for cells.

The new technology uses simple chemical reactions to map the inside of a cell, highlighting the contents and indicating exactly where everything can be found. Learn more: https://nyti.ms/2MZc5HB

Don’t be left in the dark! 🔦 Stop by SCI for our brand-new Innovation Lab Workshops! This week, learn about light p...
06/16/2019

Don’t be left in the dark! 🔦

Stop by SCI for our brand-new Innovation Lab Workshops! This week, learn about light painting and use tools and materials to create your own images.

These drop-in workshops are offered daily:
• Monday through Thursday - 1:00 pm
• Friday - 11:00 am
• Saturday - 11:00 am and 1:00 pm

Workshops are open to all ages, but parent supervision is required for children under 13. Cost: $5 per person.
Learn more: https://bit.ly/2Rh9mYp

Raise your hand if you remember the old science center! 🙋Drop your favorite SCI photos and memories in the comments b...
06/13/2019

Raise your hand if you remember the old science center! 🙋

Drop your favorite SCI photos and memories in the comments below, and we'll share a few of our favorites!

"When you were little, did you want to be a museum?” – a young SCI visitorMuseum work is a pretty specific – it wa...
06/12/2019

"When you were little, did you want to be a museum?” – a young SCI visitor

Museum work is a pretty specific – it wasn't an option many of us were aware of as kids. (And we're very sad to report that we had no "aspiring museums" on staff.)

We loved hearing what our coworkers wanted to be as children. Some of these answers are too good not to share!

Happy IMA Museum Week! While we aren't *technically* a museum (see graphic below), we're not about to miss out on the fu...
06/10/2019

Happy IMA Museum Week! While we aren't *technically* a museum (see graphic below), we're not about to miss out on the fun!

This week, we're pulling back the curtain to share a behind-the-scenes peek at SCI. Follow us on Instagram to join in this week's festivities! (Check out our Instagram account here: www.instagram.com/sciowa )

The Summer of Making is back! We'll be sharing events and inspiration here as well as on our Des Moines Mini Maker Faire...
06/07/2019
Des Moines Mini Maker Faire

The Summer of Making is back! We'll be sharing events and inspiration here as well as on our Des Moines Mini Maker Faire page. Give us a follow!

Maker Faire a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness.

Star Wars Yoga?? We're intrigued.This 21+ Yelp Des Moines event has that and MUCH more. Plus, proceeds will go toward a ...
06/06/2019
Yelp Des Moines Galaxy Geekout, Des Moines, IA

Star Wars Yoga?? We're intrigued.

This 21+ Yelp Des Moines event has that and MUCH more. Plus, proceeds will go toward a new Starlab for our outreach program! RSVP at the link below.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.... Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Des Moines in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt and bring him to the greatest party in the history of the Galaxy! Join us for Yelp Des Moines Ga...

This astronaut-in-training grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa! We love following his NASA journey!
06/05/2019

This astronaut-in-training grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa! We love following his NASA journey!

The suit team at NASA's Johnson Space Center helping me get into an ascent/entry suit to test the (OIG) orthostatic intolerance garment...aka really really fancy support hose. Imagine wearing super tight spandex from your toes to your ribs, and that’s what I have on under the orange outer suit. For NASA’s Orion Spacecraft when we splash down, the OIG helps offset all the fluid shifting and other effects your body encounters going from 0 to 1g so NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronauts can operate and egress the capsule. #wearegoing

How cool is this?"We strongly believe Lego Braille Bricks can help boost the level of interest in learning Braille, so w...
06/04/2019
Lego releases Braille bricks to teach blind and visually impaired children

How cool is this?

"We strongly believe Lego Braille Bricks can help boost the level of interest in learning Braille, so we're thrilled that the Lego Foundation is making it possible to further this concept and bring it to children around the world." -Philippe Chazal of the European Blind Union.

Lego has unveiled a new project aimed at helping blind and visually impaired children learn Braille in a "playful and engaging way." Lego Braille Bricks, a concept originally proposed to the toy company by two charities, will allow children to learn the touch writing system through play.

It may look a bit squashed, but this is the moon! This stunning photo was captured by NASA astronaut Christina Koch on t...
06/02/2019
Image of the Day

It may look a bit squashed, but this is the moon! This stunning photo was captured by NASA astronaut Christina Koch on the International Space Station.

Click the link below to see more of this week's space photos.

A prototype NASA Orion space capsule, equipped with its emergency abort motors passes by the agency's massive Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 22, 2019.

The countdown is on: Today marks 50 DAYS until the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! See how we're celebra...
05/31/2019

The countdown is on: Today marks 50 DAYS until the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing!

See how we're celebrating at www.sciowa.org/apollo50

Samaira Mehta is CEO, founder and inventor of CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches children the fundamentals of coding...
05/25/2019
Meet the 10-year-old coder grabbing the attention of Google, Microsoft and Michelle Obama

Samaira Mehta is CEO, founder and inventor of CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches children the fundamentals of coding. She is 10-years-old.

“CoderBunnyz will basically teach you all the concepts you ever need in computer programming,” Mehta tells CNBC Make It. “There’s the very basic concepts like sequencing and conditionals to more advanced concepts like loops, functions, stack, queue, lists, parallelism, inheritance and many others.”

We are here for the girl power.

Samaira Mehta is CEO, founder and inventor of CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches players as young as four basic coding concepts.

It's World Bee Day, and we're *buzzing* with excitement about our newest addition! 🐝
05/20/2019

It's World Bee Day, and we're *buzzing* with excitement about our newest addition! 🐝

“Guess what we just found. Guess what we just found! I think we found what we came for. . . . What a beaut.” These w...
05/16/2019
Apollo rocks showed how the moon was made, and now they’re about to solve more mysteries

“Guess what we just found. Guess what we just found! I think we found what we came for. . . . What a beaut.”

These words, from Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott, were recorded as he dusted the dirt off a half-pound chunk of anorthosite on the moon.

This sample (and all the rocks brought back from six moon missions) are stored in NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Lunar Sample Laboratory. Built in the 1970s, this warehouse's air is 1,000 times cleaner than in the outside world, and scientists enter only after donning special white jumpsuits, caps and booties to limit contamination.

As Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary nears, NASA has decided to release three new samples for scientific analysis.

Closing the gender gap in STEM fields starts with accessible and inclusive science education. 👩‍🔬It's Museum Wee...
05/13/2019

Closing the gender gap in STEM fields starts with accessible and inclusive science education. 👩‍🔬

It's Museum Week, and we could not be more excited about Women In Culture day. It's a celebration of women like Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station and the NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration's most experienced astronaut to date. 👩‍🚀

Follow along on Instagram as we celebrate #MuseumWeek with some behind-the-scenes action at SCI.

05/12/2019
NASA Women in Leadership

For the first time ever, women are leading three of the four NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration science divisions. They wouldn't be the leaders they are today without their moms.

05/11/2019
4D2U Project

The moon is much more than a dead orb.

Our planet’s pale satellite is the creator of tides, the catcher of meteors and the only other world in the starry ocean where humanity has set foot.

It is also a mystery to humankind – scientists are still not entirely clear how it was made. A study published on Monday suggests that the moon was forged from the fires of an ocean of magma sloshing over baby Earth’s surface.

Solving this mystery would not only reveal the moon’s origins, it would also help explain our own planet’s evolution: https://nyti.ms/2vT7xHv

Have you seen today's Google Doodle?Meet Lucy Wills, the English hematologist whose research into women’s health durin...
05/10/2019

Have you seen today's Google Doodle?

Meet Lucy Wills, the English hematologist whose research into women’s health during pregnancy changed the lives of millions around the globe. She researched prenatal macrocytic anemia in India in the 1920s and 1930s, and determined the condition was related to the diets of those affected.

Her solution? Marmite spread, a yeasty breakfast spread which contains folic acid. Her work is the reason folic acid is recommended for pregnant women everywhere. Today, Wills would have turned 131.

Learn more about her work here: https://bit.ly/2YqkiW9

The Summer of Making is back! 🛠️🎨 Our "Makers Studio" has been installed, and we are excited to announce a new a...
05/09/2019

The Summer of Making is back! 🛠️🎨

Our "Makers Studio" has been installed, and we are excited to announce a new addition to our line-up, the Innovation Lab! Stay tuned in the coming weeks for pictures of the brand-new space and more information about the Summer of Making.

Learn more about the Summer of Making: https://bit.ly/2vPNIk2

A team of brilliant undergraduate students at Drake University is developing a magnetic shield to defend interplanetary ...
05/08/2019
College Students Hatch Nuclear-Powered Magnetic Plan to Protect Marsonauts from Solar Radiation

A team of brilliant undergraduate students at Drake University is developing a magnetic shield to defend interplanetary astronauts from the intense cosmic radiation between Earth and Mars.

A team of undergraduate students at Drake University in Iowa is developing a magnetic shield to defend interplanetary astronauts from the intense cosmic radiation between Earth and Mars.

A huge thank you to our friends at Alliant Energy for supporting our STEM Education efforts. We are able to engage and i...
05/07/2019

A huge thank you to our friends at Alliant Energy for supporting our STEM Education efforts. We are able to engage and inspire thousands of Iowans because of their generosity. Cheers to continued science learning!

May the Fourth be with you! There's good cause to celebrate this Star Wars Day... We are getting closer to making the fa...
05/04/2019
6 'Star Wars' Technologies That May Not Be So Far, Far Away

May the Fourth be with you! There's good cause to celebrate this Star Wars Day... We are getting closer to making the fantastical technology of Star Wars a reality.

The first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out, and with it a tantalizing glimpse of this long-ago universe and its tech—some of it not so far away.

We had some very special visitors at SCI today! 🥁🎸🎹Cameron and Dylan Trueblood, who play Freddy and Mason in Sc...
05/03/2019

We had some very special visitors at SCI today! 🥁🎸🎹

Cameron and Dylan Trueblood, who play Freddy and Mason in School of Rock the Musical, stopped by between shows at Des Moines Performing Arts. Break a leg tonight, boys! 🤘

This algae (grown at Des Moines Area Community College) is headed to space tomorrow!NASA - National Aeronautics and Spac...
05/01/2019

This algae (grown at Des Moines Area Community College) is headed to space tomorrow!

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration will send an experiment – containing algae grown at DMACC – with the next shipment of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

You don't have to go all the way to the ISS to see it though... We have samples of the algae at SCI, and they will be on display in the near future!

Learn more about the algae here: https://bit.ly/2DCcfgO

Deep inside Earth's core, researchers have discovered weird blobs and mountains taller than Mount Everest. ⛰️ Resear...
04/29/2019
Deep inside Earth, scientists find weird blobs and mountains taller than Mount Everest

Deep inside Earth's core, researchers have discovered weird blobs and mountains taller than Mount Everest. ⛰️

Researchers have been using seismic (earthquake) waves to scan the inside of our planet, much like doctors use ultrasounds to look inside people. What they’ve discovered is a rich and dynamic inner landscape.

Earth's mantle appears to be layered like an onion. Researchers recently identified a tremendous interior mountain range.

The layers are split by rising plumes of hot rock. Beneath the plumes, two strange *blobs* (roughly the size of Australia) bob on top of the core. One blob is beneath Africa, and the other is under the Pacific Ocean. 🌍

Learn more: https://nbcnews.to/2GCDcTG

The emerging picture of our planet's innards is a "complete revolution."

And just like that, "Mental Health: Mind Matters" has officially ended. Bringing this exhibit to Iowa was possible made ...
04/28/2019

And just like that, "Mental Health: Mind Matters" has officially ended.

Bringing this exhibit to Iowa was possible made possible thanks to the support of our amazing partners, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health, the Polk County Board of Supervisors, Capital Crossroads and many others. Through their hard work and generosity, #MindMattersIA became a reality.

Thank you to all the community members and visitors who joined in the conversation. We are grateful for the safe and positive environment you all created during this exhibit.

"Mind Matters" may be over, but this is just the beginning. As a community, we need to continue to #MakeItOk by talking honestly and openly about mental illness and finding ways to address mental health concerns. By working together, we have the power make the world a better place. 💚

If you haven't had a chance to visit our traveling exhibit, "Mental Health: Mind Matters," today is your last chance! St...
04/28/2019
Mental Health: Mind Matters | Science Center

If you haven't had a chance to visit our traveling exhibit, "Mental Health: Mind Matters," today is your last chance!

Stop by SCI between 12:00–5:00 pm to experience how mental health impacts all of us.

Experience the Science-Surrounds-Us-All Actuality at this 110,000 square-foot creative lifelong learning center in the heart of Downtown Des Moines.

"Mental Health: Mind Matters" closes tomorrow, April 28.Join us this weekend to learn about how mental health impacts ou...
04/27/2019
Mental Health: Mind Matters | Science Center

"Mental Health: Mind Matters" closes tomorrow, April 28.

Join us this weekend to learn about how mental health impacts our families, friends, community and ourselves. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes – you might just be surprised by what you learn. 💚

We are open 10:00 am–5:00 pm today (Saturday) and 12:00–5:00 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

Experience the Science-Surrounds-Us-All Actuality at this 110,000 square-foot creative lifelong learning center in the heart of Downtown Des Moines.

Want to see "Mental Health: Mind Matters" before it leaves DSM? You have two more days! Stop by this weekend to learn ab...
04/26/2019
Mental Health: Mind Matters | Science Center

Want to see "Mental Health: Mind Matters" before it leaves DSM?

You have two more days! Stop by this weekend to learn about how mental health impacts all of us. Join us to #MakeItOk to talk about mental illness in Iowa. 💚

Experience the Science-Surrounds-Us-All Actuality at this 110,000 square-foot creative lifelong learning center in the heart of Downtown Des Moines.

Iowa Public Radio
04/26/2019
Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio

This is the last weekend to visit the Mind Matters exhibit at the Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater. Learn more about how it came to Des Moines:

Yes, your doggo *is* making puppy dog eyes at you. Here's the scoop: dogs have evolved to use facial expression as a for...
04/23/2019

Yes, your doggo *is* making puppy dog eyes at you.

Here's the scoop: dogs have evolved to use facial expression as a form of communication. Research confirms that dogs make certain faces when interacting with humans (including those sad, wide puppy dog eyes).

Learn more: https://bit.ly/2FkSFWy

SCI is CLOSED today so our employees can celebrate the Easter holiday with their families. We'll see you Tuesday at 10:0...
04/21/2019

SCI is CLOSED today so our employees can celebrate the Easter holiday with their families. We'll see you Tuesday at 10:00 am when we reopen!

SCI will be CLOSED tomorrow, April 21, for the Easter holiday. We'll see you Tuesday, April 23, when we reopen!
04/20/2019

SCI will be CLOSED tomorrow, April 21, for the Easter holiday. We'll see you Tuesday, April 23, when we reopen!

Nearly a decade ago, a snippet of pinky bone found in Siberia introduced the world to a baffling new kind of ancient hum...
04/15/2019

Nearly a decade ago, a snippet of pinky bone found in Siberia introduced the world to a baffling new kind of ancient human: Denisovans.

These ancient relatives of the Neanderthals inhabited Asia for tens of thousands of years. In a surprising new twist, DNA from a large sampling of living southeast Asians suggests that the ghostly Denisovans may be not one, but THREE distinct kinds of human.

According to the study, these Denisovans co-existed and mixed with modern humans until at least 30,000 years ago — but perhaps as recently as 15,000 years ago. This new timeline, if confirmed, means Denisovans were the last known humans to walk the Earth with us.

Learn more: https://on.natgeo.com/2VHbE4C

Most of us learn about the three states of matter in elementary school. 💧🌱 💨 As it turns out, physicists have d...
04/13/2019
Confirmed: New phase of matter is solid and liquid at the same time

Most of us learn about the three states of matter in elementary school. 💧🌱 💨

As it turns out, physicists have discovered several exotic varieties of matter that can exist under extreme temperature and pressure conditions.

Researchers have confirmed the existence of a bizarre new state of matter — a mind-bending material, similar to a sponge made of water that's leaking water...

This is because potassium atoms exhibit properties of both a solid and a liquid at the same time. If you were somehow able to pull out a chunk of this material, it would probably look like a solid block, leaking molten potassium that eventually all dissolved away.

The mind-bending material would be like a sponge made of water that's leaking water.

Meet Ken Young, one of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientists credited with capturing the first-ever...
04/11/2019
Meet the Des Moines scientist behind the first true image of a black hole

Meet Ken Young, one of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics scientists credited with capturing the first-ever black hole image. (He celebrated from his home right here in downtown Des Moines!)

Young's role included collecting the data used to create the image, including making a telescope in Hawaii compatible with others around the world.

Address

401 W Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy
Des Moines, IA
50309

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(515) 274-6868

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