The Maryland Science Center is spending $3.15 million to expand existing and create new exhibits. The goal is to create a hands-on community feel rather than a passive attraction. This will be the largest renovation on the Science Center since 2004.
Some of the components of this renovation project include:
- The Shed. Made to resemble a 1,500-square-foot garage workshop with a central work area and several benches for patrons, The Shed will provide lessons on hands-on topics such as bicycle repair and soldering, with hand and power tools available. Scheduled for completion on Sept. 28.
- Davis Planetarium refurbishment. This $1.2 million refurbishment will gut the current space for new carpeting and seating, along with a new projector and ceiling dome that will create a 360-degree screen of video. The France-Merrick Foundation and state of Maryland are contributing to cost for this refurbishment. Scheduled for completion on Sept. 28.
- Power Up! This will be a 4,000-square-foot exhibit about electricity that will feature sustainable electricity sources and alternative fuels and will put visitors in the position of city planners responsible for ensuring the entire population has access to power. Exelon is helping with Power Up. Work will begin in September, to be completed this winter.
- Sci-Lab. This will be an expansion (to 2,000 square feet with classrooms) and renaming of the current Wet Lab exhibit. The Lab will enable visitors to study the chemical composition of materials and the inner workings of the human body. BD Diagnotics is collaborating on the Sci-Lab. Work will begin in September, to be completed this winter.
New space won’t be added to the current building’s footprint; rather, space used for static displays and storage will be reclaimed. Partnerships and existing funds will pay for the project.
The Science Center is a nonprofit with a $10 million annual operating budget. Its economic impact on Baltimore is $34 million a year and 300 people are employed by The Science Center. Approximately 350,000 people visit the Science Center each year.
The previously announced “Mummies of the World” exhibit will also open on Sept. 28. While the mummies exhibit, a traveling show, will require a separate ticket, all of the new exhibits in the renovation will be included in the entry fee. The entry fee ranges between $13.95 for children to $16.95 for adults.