The Science Museum is built into a bluff. The Lobby is on the fifth floor. Our galleries are on the fifth, fourth, and third floors.
Each exhibit floor is two stories high and there is an open atrium in the center. A wood and glass guardrail separates the upper floors from the open atrium. In general, exhibit components are grouped by content, but not walled off from each other.
As you enter the exhibit galleries from the Lobby, there are a few repeating landmarks to point out.
To your left are elevators connecting all exhibit floors. If you continue along the elevator wall, there is a short corridor leading to bathrooms. Further along the elevator wall are water fountains. Elevators, bathrooms, and water fountains are in the same location on each floor.
To your right, directly across the floor from the elevators, are stairs from the 5th floor to the 3rd floor. Between each floor are two flights of stairs separated by a landing.
Fifth floor exhibits include the Mississippi River exhibition, home of the Collectors’ Corner, where visitors can examine and swap found objects from nature; the Charles E. Towboat, accessed via a door across from Collectors’ Corner; and a selection of weather exhibits. Directly to the right of the entry doors is Science Buzz, which is regularly updated with current science.
Fourth-floor exhibits include Weighing the Evidence, which uses quack medicine devices to help you separate fact from fiction when making healthcare choices; and the Human Body Gallery, which includes an Egyptian mummy.
Following the guardrail to the right of the stairs (as you are facing them) leads to a glass wall and a set of closed doors. Enter these doors to reach Race: Are We So Different? and We Move and We Stay, our Native American exhibition. There is an additional set of bathrooms at the back of the Native American exhibition, including family/companion/gender-neutral restrooms.
Also on the 4th floor is our Great Hall, where we host special and/or traveling exhibits. The Great Hall is located about 30 feet to the left if you are facing the elevators.
As you exit the elevators on the third floor, directly across from you and continuing to your left, you will find Math Moves components, where visitors use their senses to explore key math concepts. Listen for the regular tink, tink, tink of the Comparing Frequencies component located along the elevator wall.
Sportsology, where you can explore the importance of physiology, physics, and nutrition in active play, is also along the left side of this floor. A long Wave Tank separates it from the central staircase.
Farthest away from the wall with the elevators is Chomp, a quick-service restaurant with plenty of café chairs and tables. Chomp is home to our Seismofon, a massive musical sculpture that chimes when there is seismic activity beneath Earth’s surface. The chimes from the Seismofon can be heard throughout the exhibits.
Across from Chomp and directly against the central stairs, is the Science Live Atrium Stage. Several rows of long wooden benches provide seating for the stage. Actors for these shows wear microphones. Shows are announced over loudspeakers.
To your left as you leave Chomp is our Dinosaurs and Fossils gallery. This is a large semi-enclosed space with displays of different dinosaur skeletons and other fossils. Be sure to listen for the swamp sounds playing in a portion of the back of this gallery.
As you continue around the central staircase, you’ll find the Experiment Gallery, where you can conduct your own experiments and learn what happens.
The second floor is used primarily by school groups, camps, and classes. The Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, the Learning Technologies Center, and the Education Entrance are all on this floor.
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