Feb 27, 2014
01:14 PM
Education

Connecticut Science Center: An Educational Experience Happily Disguised as Fun

Connecticut Science Center: An Educational Experience Happily Disguised as Fun

Sassy Mouth Photography

Enjoy a nerdy day at Connecticut Science Center and leave with a smile, and it will prove to have been an educational experience that had nothing at all to do with tedious textbooks.

If you’ve ever witnessed how big a marshmallow gets after a minute in the microwave, you’ve experienced the sheer fascination of science. That’s how I felt after I visited the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford recently, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this summer.

 The César Pelli-designed glass structure with a magic carpet roof is a futuristic marvel that has redefined the Hartford skyline. Inside, a 143-foot atrium separates two towers packed with 150 hands-on exhibits in 10 galleries, and it’s all certified green.

There’s something for everyone. We began our tour at the top. Glass elevators whisked us up to Level 6, where there was a roof garden with a spectacular view of the Connecticut River and a hurricane chamber and a weather station where you can create your own weather forecast and TV broadcast. And there was an animatronic Dilophosaurus (above) that made us roar. Energy City illustrated a model city for sustainability—I loved the 1950s chrome kitchen set used for its carbon footprint display. We touched meteorites in Exploring Space and had fun with a “mind ball” in The Picture of Health. And in Sight and Sound we danced on piano keys (like they did in Big) and played airball in Forces of Motion, which also featured robots, racecars and sailboats. But wait, there’s more: Kidspace water-play area for tiny tots on the the main floor, 3-D movies, scavenger hunts and exhibits (see real mummies in Lost Egypt through May 4).

The best thing happened on the way out—I got a hot air balloon to rise to the ceiling! You should’ve been there.

For more information, call the science center at (860) 724-3623, or see the website at ctsciencecenter.org.

--Cathy P. Ross

Connecticut Science Center: An Educational Experience Happily Disguised as Fun

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