Pacific Science Center


Pacific Science Center

The Pacific Science Center is a science museum in Seattle, Washington.

Organization

Pacific Science Center is an independent, non-profit science museum based in Seattle, Washington. It sits on convert|7.1|acre|m2 of land located on the south side of the Seattle Center. A satellite campus in Bellevue, Washington, the Mercer Slough Environmental Center, teaches children and adults about environmental stewardship, wetland ecology and nature awareness. Like many museums, Pacific Science Center creates, builds and rents many traveling exhibits. Pacific Science Center also has a fleet of vans that provide science education to schools all across the state. A division of staff workers show teachers in the state how to teach science.

History

Its original buildings were the United States Science Pavilion, part of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle.

The fountains appeared in the movie "It Happened at the World's Fair" with Elvis Presley. After the fair ended, the museum was re-opened as the Pacific Science Center. The land and buildings were leased for $1.00 a year until 2004 when the title deed was signed over and Pacific Science Center Foundation officially took ownership.

Pacific Science Center is located within walking distance of the Space Needle, and is next to the Seattle Center. It is housed in what was the United States Science Pavilion for the Century 21 Exposition in 1962. The complex was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who also was the architect of the World Trade Center in New York. The walls of each building, composed of many pre-cast concrete slabs, form an arch motif used by Yamasaki in a number of buildings.

1960s

In the 1960s, many exhibits were carried over from the original World's Fair exhibition, though only a few of these original exhibits remain, such as the Lens and Mirror machine and a suspended moon. Many current parents and engineers fondly remember their parents taking them there. [' [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/lifestyle/67034_fairmemories19.shtml Recalling the time of their lives] ", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 19, 2002] One of the most notable exhibits at the time was a ramp where the buildings were built at a tilt. This exhibit was reproduced in the late 1990s. The domed Spacerium, now used for laser shows, was designed for a wide-angle movie journey through space. Before IMAX, a previous movie theater there showed films like NASA's Apollo 8 (to the soundtrack of Yellow Submarine) and the 21st Century with Walter Cronkite. Future governor Dixy Lee Ray would head the Science Center for many years.

1970s

In the mid 1970s, the lower-level math area was dominated by the IBM Mathematica exhibit where demonstrators in orange jackets ("OJ"s) made soap bubbles and showed audiences how the stylish new Chevrolet Chevette was paving the way for the quick adoption of the Metric system. Upstairs, a giant normal curve Pachinko machine would ring an alarm before emptying out its balls. An aerospace building contained a full-sized lunar module mockup from which suited astronauts would climb out. The Life building contained the Sea monster house, a Kwakiutl long house, and a working hydraulic model [http://exhibits.pacsci.org/puget_sound/PSSummary.html] of Puget Sound. With the physical sciences, the physics witch on Halloween would ask "Would you like to boil "blood" in a paper cup?" or Groucho Marx would dump liquid nitrogen on the ponds after a demo. The presenters in question here were Janie Mann, who did dynamic combustion shows dressed as a witch circa 1977-78, and Dan Cox, who did physics demos as Groucho Marx in the same era. Cox would later go on to become a professor of physics. These staff were part of the "OJ" program (short for "Orange Jacket," the uniform of the time). The program consisted of 24 work study students, whose leader in the late 1970s, Carl Linde, set a format for the program that would last into the late 1990s. The Eames theater was originally created for a special multi-screen IBM movie for the World Fair. It was later converted into an IMAX screen in 1979, the first of two IMAX theaters at the center.

1980s

Pacific Science Center grew dramatically in the 1980s. A key step in its evolution was the hiring of George Moynihan as Executive Director in 1980. Moynihan, from the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, would run the center for the next two decades. His leadership team in the 1980s included Diane Carlson in public programs, Dennis Schatz in education and exhibits, and Dave Taylor in exhibits. In 1984 the science center took a gamble on hosting the exhibit "China: 7000 Years of Discovery." The success of the exhibit helped put PSC on the map as a leading science center. Other notable successes later in the decade were several iterations of a traveling robotic dinosaur exhibit, which led to the center eventually installing a permanent dinosaur display in the 1990s. Pacific Science Center hosted the annual Association of Science and Technology Centers conference in October 1987 and opened several major exhibits in the same period, including Kids Works, Body Works, an animal area and a tide pool.

IMAX and past exhibits

Today the museum is composed of eight buildings, including two IMAX theaters (one of only a few places in the world with more than one IMAX theater), one of the world's largest Laser Dome theaters, a tropical butterfly house, a planetarium, and hundreds of hands-on science exhibits. In addition to the many permanent exhibits, Pacific Science Center has offered a constant rotation of traveling exhibits, including notable exhibits such as "China: 7,000 Years of Discovery", "Titanic: the Artifacts Exhibit", and "Discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls".

References

External links

* [http://www.pacsci.org/ Pacific Science Center]
* [http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/ae/317094_fam25.html Colossal Fossils: Dinosaurs Around the World]
* [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2003722346_dinosaurs26.html Colossal Fossils: Dinosaurs Around the World]
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3559190349320257024&hl=en Google home video: Danger Science water explosion finale]
* [http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/events/ Calendar of Events]


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