Liberty Science Center
|Location||Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Public transit access||Liberty State Park|
The center, which first opened in 1993 as New Jersey's first major state science museum, has science exhibits, the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, numerous educational resources, and the original Hoberman sphere, a silver, computer-driven engineering artwork designed by Chuck Hoberman.
Liberty Science Center completed a 22-month, $109 million expansion and renewal project on July 19, 2007. The expansion added 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) to the facility, bringing it to nearly 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2).
In December 2017, the Science Center opened the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater. This 400-seat theater is the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, and the fourth largest in the world, boasting a resolution of 88 million pixels, a lighting system that can produce over 281 trillion individual colors, and new speakers capable of producing 30,000 watts of digital sound.
Liberty Science Center's permanent exhibitions include:
- Touch Tunnel – One of LSC's most legendary exhibitions. Guests must use their senses to navigate an 80-foot, crawl-through pitch-black tunnel.
- Infinity Climber – Guests crawl, climb, and balance their way in this suspended climbing play space with multiple routes and pathways that go as high as 35 feet above the floor.
- Jack Horner's Dino Dig – A seasonal favorite. In this outdoor fossil site, guests uncover massive dinosaur bones by digging through 35 tons of sand. The exhibition contains more than 60 fossils, many of them replicas of those discovered in Montana by Jack Horner, the famed paleontologist who inspired Jurassic Park.
- Skyscraper! – The largest exhibition on the subject of skyscrapers in the world – with artifacts from the World Trade Center, a walk along an I-beam two stories above the exhibition floor, an earthquake-shake table, a glass-Schindler 400A mid-rise Traction elevator, which is open to show how the elevator moves, the machine room, and the pit, and much more.
- Eat and Be Eaten – This exhibit of life animals explores the predator-prey relationship, offering lots of live animals including naked mole-rats, cotton-top tamarin monkeys, leaf-cutter ants, and scores of other creatures.
- Dream Machine – Guests explore different emotions in this sensory adventure where they ride bicycle pumps to produce combinations of colors, sounds, and scents. Designed by multimedia artist Emilie Baltz, the Dream Machine originally debuted at New York's Panorama Music Festival but now it has a permanent home at LSC.
- SURE House – Guests can take a tour of this storm-resistant, energy-efficient beach house, designed by Stevens Institute of Technology students and winner of the 2015 Scholar Decathlon sponsored by the US Department of Energy.
- Communication explores human communication in four areas—body and language; symbols, signs, and writing; print, audio, and video; and signals and networks. Here you can also do Language Karaoke, where you are taught to say phrases in a new language: Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, or Cockney.
- Infection Connection – Helps guests understand how individual actions may affect global health issues. Guests can ride the IC Express, which shows a film about different types of infectious diseases.
- I Explore – A space for young learners, where guests under age six and their caregivers can explore aspects of the world around them through water play, a microscope, a Luckey Climber climbing structure, a street scape, and a rock xylophone – made from hanging rocks that ring like bells when struck.
- Our Hudson Home – Teaches guests about the wildlife and ecology of the Hudson River. It includes an observation deck with great views of the Hudson.
- Wonder Why – Contains playful hands-on experiments and activities for all ages, including a rock wall to test out friction, a six-foot-wide soap bubble, and more.
- Energy Quest – Explores different energy types and the technologies to harness these.
- Wildlife Challenge is a seasonal outdoor exhibit in which guests can take part in a variety of physical activities, designed to simulate different animals' environments. Activities include balance beams, and a zip line accessible only to guests that can hold on to a rope for at least ten seconds.
Beginning August 2016, LSC started holding LSC After Dark events for guests 21 and over. Always held on the third Thursday of the month, LSC After Dark events feature drinks, food, music, dancing, special hands-on experiments and activities, and access to all the exhibitions in the Science Center. Each month is a different theme. Previous themes have included "Science Speakeasy," "'90s Night," "Mardi Gras," "Superheroes," "Freak Show," "Zombtoberfest," and a Game of Thrones-inspired party.
SciTech Scity proposal
LSC is in negotiation with Jersey City to receive for a nominal fee city-owned land (a former car pound) which would be developed as an educational and residential area called SciTech Scity. SciTech Scity is expected to attract top scientists and researchers from around the world, while also educating Jersey City's next generation of leaders in this field. This new project will include a biotech lab, a coding lab, a technology business incubator, and a K–12 STEM-focused public school.
- Kitta MacPherson. "Innovation & Inspiration", The Star-Ledger, October 4, 2006.
- Liberty Science Center Expansion Project Archived October 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., accessed January 30, 2007
- "Critics assail Jersey City plan to give land to Liberty Science Center". NJ.com. March 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- "Teachers union seeks delay on Liberty Science Center plan". NJ.com. March 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- "Heated debate over $276M Liberty Science Center expansion plan". NJ.com. March 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- Rothstein, Edward (July 20, 2007). "Museum Review: Touch Me Feel Me Science". NY Times.
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