Oct 23, 2017

1001 Inventions-Michigan Science Center

This past weekend, my family and I had the opportunity to travel back in time on an inspirational journey through a colorful and creative period of a golden age of civilization.  We visited the 1001 Inventions: Untold Stories from a Golden Age of Innovation at the Michigan Science Center.


When we first entered the exhibit, which is free with a paid science center admission, we sat in a small room with benches to watch a movie on a giant screen.  The movie lasted about 15 minutes and was similar to Harry Potter in some ways.  “1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets” took us through “The Dark Ages” and taught us about the great inventors and pioneers of science and technology in the Muslim civilization. My 4 and 6-year-old were captivated for the majority of the short film, but their attention span did get the best of them during the last 5 minutes.
Once we entered the main exhibit area, we were greeted by docents in period attire.  They were extremely knowledgeable in the content and enhanced the exhibit.  Since we were only one of a few families visiting, we benefited from a lot of one-on-one time.


The exhibition has 7 exhibit zones spreading nearly 9,000 sq. ft., with each featuring a number of workshops and hands-on activities. There were interactive video screens throughout and the characters from the short film (portraying real historical inventors and scientists) talked to the visitors through connected telephones.

I appreciated the closed captioning on the bottom of the screen, as there were only 2 phones to listen in on. There was a lot of reading at each display, but with my kids in tow, I didn't get to read everything I would have if I were alone. They most enjoyed the interactive parts of the exhibit. There was a Digital Game Zone, which they particularly liked.



After we walked through the exhibits and interacted with the displays, they were able to make a craft, mimicking some of the art on display. 

1001 Inventions is designed to incite curiosity and inspire creativity and innovation among the next generation and to support a growing economy focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers (something we are stressing, especially with our daughter) while promoting intercultural appreciation and fostering mutual understanding and social inclusion. 

I would recommend this exhibit for school groups or family visits with children ages seven and older, although there are things for younger ones to see and do.


This award-winning, touring exhibit will be in Detroit until January 7, 2018. The Michigan Science Center is located at 5020 John R. Street, Detroit, MI 48202. General admission is $14/adult, $11/child 12 and under or senior citizen (65+).  Children under age two are free.

The hours during the run of the 1001 Inventions exhibit are:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10 AM - 3 PM
Wednesday 10 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 10 AM - 3 PM
Friday 10 AM - 3 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 3 PM* (special hours for Invent: A Night at the Museum)
Sunday 12 PM - 6 PM

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