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Science Center

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Science Center is to be an innovative science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) based learning center providing exciting and engaging facilities and programming meant to inspire and stimulate the imagination of the children, families, school/youth groups, and the individuals we serve.

Organization Description

The Science Center is a not-for-profit science and technology museum. Our previous location in downtown Cedar Rapids was damaged by the flood in June 2008. We have relocated to Lindale Mall with two spaces, the Main Level Exhibit Gallery and the Lower Level Education Center. We offer hands-on programming for individuals, families, groups, and scouts, both on-site at Lindale and off-site throughout Eastern Iowa.

Our History

The Science Center started in an historic brick structure built in 1917 as a fire station. The building was used as a fire station until 1985. When the city moved the fire crew and equipment to another site, Junior League of Cedar Rapids Inc. undertook a major fundraising drive to renovate the building into a public hands-on science museum. The Science Center opened to the public in 1986 and was a three-year project for Junior League after which it was turned over to the community. The firemen's pole remains on the main floor.

In October of 2000, the Science Center opened the Alliant Energy Gallery. This 13,500 sq. ft. building included a main level that expanded the exhibit areas and housed the museum's administrative offices. The McLeod/Busse IMAX® Dome Theatre building opened on March 30, 2001, and screened the last film on January 20, 2008. After the devastating flood of June 2008, we moved both our Education Center and our Exhibit Gallery to Lindale Mall, where we currently operate.

Nuclear Science Badge Camp

The Science Center, in partnership with Nextera Energy Duane Arnold , is offering a Nuclear Science Merit Badge Camp on January 19, 2013. The day long workshop will begin at 9am and end at 4pm. Scouts seeking their nuclear merit badge should sign up today! Seating is limited and the camp will fill up fast. The cost is $12.00 per person: troops or individual are welcome to register. The camp with take place on Coe College campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The schedule for the day includes:

  • 9 a.m. - Morning Session - The morning session will include a general overview of nuclear energy by Duane Arnold Energy Center employees, followed by breakout sessions and nuclear demonstrations which include a nuclear half-life experiment and the use of radiation monitoring equipment.
  • Noon- 1 p.m. Lunch - Participants are welcome to visit neighboring restaurants or alternately are encouraged to bring their lunch. Vending machines will also be available.
  • 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Afternoon Session - This afternoon session will continue with a rotation through breakout sessions.

Science Center Future Thinking

Thanks to all who participated in our surveys, focus groups and one on one's over the summer. We are excited to plan the next steps for the Center and need your continued support and input.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue10:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed10:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr10:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri10:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat10:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM5:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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