Have you ever dreamed of being able to life a car with your hands? Can you imagine watching rats play basketball? How would you like to tour a working television and radio studio and learn through hands-on digital media activities, exhibits, and media workshops that are designed to educate, inform, entertain, and inspire? You might also feel as though you are in the cockpit of an Air Force F-15 Eagle, experiencing realistic and intense combat training through the movie, “Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag.” You can experience all these things and more at COSI (The Center of Science and Industry) in Ohio, a museum where learning is fun. There is a COSI in Columbus and another in Toledo. Many of the same activities and events are at both spots, but some are not. Regardless, either museum is a good place for a family to be entertained and learn at the same time.
There are a variety of fun exhibits and activities that are at COSI all the time. The museums also always have special events and exhibits. There are a variety of activities to learn about space, the ocean, and a laboratory in the sun with larger-than-life activities that prove that science can be fun. There are also exhibits about life, where one can learn about our bodies, minds, and spirits; an exhibit where one can view a Midwestern town and its newest technology, first in 1898, then in 1962; and an exhibit where one can view an inventor’s paradise-the gadgets exhibit. One can also view live shows and see many other entertaining and informative exhibits.
As for live shows, you can be entertained and learn by watching various events, including watching trained rats play basketball, learning more about static electricity and literally see your hair stand on end in the Electrostatic Generator Show, riding a unicycle 17 feet above the ground, in a totally safe environment, experiencing static friction greater than gravity in the Centripetal Generator, and experiencing a holiday light show like none other near Christmas.
In the space exhibit at COSI, you can ride in a space capsule, test your skills as an armchair astronaut, or maneuver through a Martian landscape. You can also watch NASA television live. You can learn more about the laws of motion, gravity and thrust, robotics, spaceflight, orbital mechanics, and general astronomy.
In the ocean exhibit, you can experience real technology, such as submarines, sonar, and remote operated vehicles to explore wonders under the sea.
In COSI’s the laboratory in the sun in the Big Science Park, you can lift a car with your hands, using a lever, move a 2.5 ton granite sphere, and play with air pressure. On the Centripetal Generator, experience centripetal force first hand, as the floor of the generator drops out below you.
In the exhibit about life, you can view surgery, see decomposition in action, age your face, play tricks on your mind, and make some interesting body noises. You can experience optical illusions and see how they work.
Many of the activities and exhibits listed so far are at COSI year round. Some new exhibits include the tour of radio and television station [email protected], which was mentioned previously, an exhibit to learn about speed from roller coasters to car racing, and the fighter pilot movie previously mentioned.
There are coming events too. In the Holiday Science of the Season from November 24 to December 31, 2006, one can visit the winter wonderland model train display, build his own sled and test its speed on the sled run, participate in a giant domino rally and study cause and effect with one push on your hand. There are many other upcoming exhibits, including one about the Nile River and one about Albert Einstein.
On the official website of COSI at Columbus, www.cosi.org, there are links to many interesting things you can experience at home using your computer, including a free open source planetarium, information about the nine planets, a link to a site about space missions, a site for teachers, and many others.
While all of the exhibits just mentioned can be seen at COSI in Columbus, there are many fun things to do at COSI in Toledo. The COSI Columbus website has a link to the COSI at Toledo website. One exhibit that began at Toledo September 22 includes popular art in Japan.
The Columbus COSI website has a link to online activities. On the site, using the simulated activities, you can perform knee surgery on yourself, run a farm and make all necessary decisions for a year, perform hip surgery, and practice stopping at any vehicle intersection of your choice, but beware of accidents and the police. There are a variety of other activities.
COSI at Columbus was closed from September 5 to September 19 for the annual fall maintenance. It reopened September 20. Adult admission is $18.50 for all exhibits and movies, $12.50 for exhibits only, and $7.50 for the extreme screen movie. For those from 2-12, admission is $13.50, $7.50, and $7.50 respectively. Admission for those over 60 is $13.50, $7.50, and $7.50. There are deeper discounts for those who become COSI members.
Admission for COSI at Toledo is $8.50 for those from 13-64, $7.50 for those from 65 up, and $6.50 for those from 3-12, and free for those younger than 3.
The websites for the two COSI museums give directions.
If you want to go yourself, with a loved one, or take your whole family to a place where learning is fun, you won’t forget COSI.