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Former Detroit Science Center reborn

$5 million in donations helps city staple become nonprofit, retain exhibits

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Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:12 pm, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

The Michigan Science Center, formerly known as The Detroit Science Center, reopened its doors to the public Dec. 26, 2012.

The Detroit Science Center closed in September 2012 for 15 months due to budget constraints. Since that time, it has only opened to the public for the past two Noel Nights, but more than 5 million dollars has been raised to help the center become debt-free and restart operations. The center is now a nonprofit and all donations to the center are tax-deductible.

Since the transition, many of the beloved exhibits have stayed the same — the coach potatoes, the children’s workout station, the Mackinac Bridge and the instrumental experience, just to name a few, have kept their spots. Chrissy Jones, a University of Michigan-Dearborn student, is happy about the consistency. She was glad to come back and experience many of the things she enjoyed when she came with her parents as a child.

10-year-old twins Rosie and Grace both say their favorite part was “watching the science show,” another staple that stayed the same. Their grandmother thought it “was very helpful for the community that there were so many health exhibits.” It creates not only a fun, but also an educational experience for both children and adults.

The overall focus of the museum is health and everyday science.

The two current rotating exhibits support this theme. The first, “Diabetes: A Deeper Look” delves into the basic information of how to stay healthy, prevent diabetes, manage diabetes and understand how diabetes affects your body. The second, “Bodies: Human Anatomy in Motion” shows an inside look of the human body. It shows cross sections of different organs, comparative looks of healthy and unhealthy lungs and livers and full-sized examples of how muscles constrict. The exhibit shows the muscle makeup of a soccer player kicking a ball in midair and the inner structure of Rodin’s famous “Thinker” statue, which sits outside the DIA is next door to the science center.

In the human body exhibit, Wayne State medical students walked around answering any scientific questions visitors might have. This was a theme throughout the museum — there were many workers wandering around to answer questions and to do hands-on experiments with kids.

Kate Edgell, a first year medical student at WSU, was one of the student volunteers. Edgell appreciated that “the museum had such a large focus on health — on the heart, diet and overall health.” She also said the exhibits were “much more interactive” than before.

The everyday science exhibits aim to be interactive and also Michigan-focused, with a Michigan Department of Transportation section that allowed viewers to watch traffic cams and understand the makeup of roads and the flow of traffic.

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