Got tech? Love tech? Then you’re going to want to head to the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), a science and technology museum located in Queens, New York, at the former site of the 1964 World’s Fair pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It’s actually one of the last remaining structures from the fair and is New York City’s only hands-on science and technology center, where you’ll find more than 450 interactive exhibits, events and workshops with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math.)
The center itself has a fascinating history. After the 1964 World’s Fair, when most other venues closed down, the center remained open and, at the time, was one of just a few science museums in existence. In 1979, it closed for renovations, but had fallen into such great disrepair and was subjected to the cutting of so much city funding that it did not reopen until 1986. As New York City’s only science museum, its popularity grew at a surprising rate and, in 1991, it announced a 10-year, $80 million renovation and expansion project. It earned rare status as a New York City cultural institution and has gone on to receive funding from grants, donations and other sources that have allowed it to continue operating successfully, keep its displays updated and relevant with modern advances, and expand as needed. Today, the New York Hall of Science welcomes visitors of all ages to explore its 100,000+ square feet of indoor exhibition space, with an additional 60,000+ square feet outdoors.
NYSCI hosts a variety of weekly public programs for families, children, teens, adults, students and teachers, including live shows, large events, festivals, workshops and more. There are temporary seasonal exhibits, such as the current Art of the Brick, featuring the world’s largest display of LEGO sculptures; Solar Cat, a giant solar panel that powers a model house; and Imaging Women in the Space Age, with vintage and present-day images of female aviators, astronauts and other space travelers. Permanents exhibits will take you to Connected Worlds, where visitors are immersed in six different animated environments: Design Lab, offering the chance to experiment with structures, circuits and other materials; Search for Life Beyond Earth, which studies the extreme environments of Earth and other bodies in the solar system; and Scattered Light, with captivating views of space, lights and color. Other ongoing exhibits include Preschool Place for the center’s youngest guests; The Evolution-Health Connection, about evolution and natural selection in health and illness; Wild Minds, which examines similarities between human and animal cognition; and Mathematica, the first interactive exhibition devoted to math. There’s also a 3D theater that screens award-winning feature films plus educational films. Outdoors, spend time in the Science Playground, Rocket Park and Rocket Park Mini Golf.
NYSCI bills itself as the most unique exhibit space in New York City, and it makes a great day trip from tech fans. New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th St., Corona, New York. It is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
For more information about programs, calendar of events, admission prices and more, visit nysci.org or call 718-699-0005.