Cleveland Space and Science Center
601 Erieside Ave, Cleveland, OH, USA
www.greatscience.com - (216) 694-2000
Cleveland Space and Science Center Reviews
Aug 22, 2007
Although it isn’t as famous as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located next door, The Cleveland Space and Science Center is much more fun and interesting. Like many science centers, environmentalism is a major focus of the exhibits, with an entire floor of the three level structure dedicated to the local environmental considerations around Lake Erie and the Great Lakes. The top floor features a wide array of the normal science center fare, including fun interactive exhibits on physics with soap bubble makers, lasers and optics, and centrifugal force. The exhibits were well maintained and all were functional, with very good explanations of the phenomenon being demonstrated.
A key component of the environmentalism exhibits were outside of the building rather than inside. A very large windmill power generator is located outside of the building, and computer displays inside give real time information about the power being generated. The driveway around the entrance features a solar panel awning that generates a significant amount of power, and the roof of the parking structure is a ‘green’ roof, planted with grass, trees and plants to enhance the insulation factor of the structure. The indoor exhibits on pollution and the environment around the great lakes are boring and uninspired. There is very little interactivity, with most of the displays featuring question and answer quizzes with no real good interaction. The general effect of the displays tended towards the doom and gloom view of human impact on the environment, with seemingly little emphasis on specific actions that individuals can take to affect the situation.
In contrast, the basic science exhibits were very entertaining and interactive. Starting at the entrance is a small space shuttle landing simulator that guides visitors through a simulated landing of the space shuttle. A large section on computers and communications provides good displays on the workings of communications devices and has some fun MIDI instruments to demonstrate the musical functions of computers. The physics exhibits were very fun, with good interactive examples of composite materials, wind tunnels, a Tesla Coil, lots of strobe light exhibits and a good variety of demonstrations concerning harmonics and resonance
Being a science geek, I would have loved to spend more time there, but even my non-geek hosts enjoyed a half day at the center without getting bored. It was great for kids, but even adults will be able to learn quite a bit and enjoy the exhibits. For environmentalists the displays will be disappointing except for the alternative power displays, which are great examples of modern environmentally sensitive power systems. No matter what your interests, I everyone will find something to enjoy at the science center.
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