Toledo’s science center (formerly known as COSI Toledo) began operation in March 1997, welcoming more than 3 million visitors before closing its doors on December 31, 2007, due to financial challenges. After a successful levy campaign and win in the 2008 general election, the science center, renamed Imagination Station, opened to the public on October 10, 2009. The levy funding (.17 mil for 5 years) accounts for roughly one-third of the science center’s overall budget. Passage of a straight renewal request (.17 mil for 5 years) in November 2012, ensures that Imagination Station will stay financially strong and able to bring lasting experiences to the residents of Lucas County for many years to come.
Imagination Station is a vital non-profit organization and an integral part of Toledo’s economic, educational and social landscape. Imagination Station provides a critical layer of science enrichment by serving as an educational partner for teachers, schools and parents. It’s with a thoughtful blend of hundreds of hands-on exhibits, experiences, education and excitement that Imagination Station is inspiring future generations of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers in northwest Ohio.
As a public organization, Imagination Station’s responsibility to the community is immense. The science center has embraced that responsibility and has transformed into a community resource. Since opening, growth has been strategic and deliberate by design. As admission, sponsorship and grant funding have become available, enhancements to exhibit spaces and educational programs have aligned with community needs and educational imperatives.
Since opening in 2009, Imagination Station about 200,000 visitors per year have explored Imagination Station’s 80,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with hundreds of hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations and engaging experiences. Of that, Lucas County residents have saved over $460,000 through Lucas County discounts and promotions. Additionally, more than 18,500 Lucas County students have been impacted by Imagination Station’s educational efforts through outreach programs.
In the science center’s few short years, look at what has been accomplished.
Permanent Exhibitions and Exhibits
Over the past few years, Imagination Station has had the unique opportunity to work with community partners to continue expanding their permanent exhibition spaces by offering vital educational experiences relevant to northwest Ohio. New permanent experiences include:
Opened on May 16, 2012
This agriculture exhibition features an animatronic game show experience that celebrates the world of agriculture and farming. Sponsored by The Andersons, Inc.
Opened on December 1, 2010
Newly Imagined in September, 2015
This exhibit features a larger than life magnetic newspaper and video kiosk that follows the life a newspaper story from event to your doorstep. Sponsored by The Toledo Blade
Opened on February 24, 2010
Newly imagined in September, 2015
This technology based exhibit puts visitors behind the sports desk. Sponsored by Buckeye CableSystem.
Eat It Up!
Opened on April 6, 2012
Newly Imagined in May, 2016
This high energy learning world, focused on nutrition and exercise, tells the story of how the choices you make today affect your body. Sponsored by ProMedica
Opened on May 27, 2016
This NEW learning world is a unique space with a mix of engaging exhibits including the Tinkering Space, designed for open exploration and the Think Tank, which hosts new workshops for all ages.
Imagination Station’s Flexible Gallery was designed to be a showcase for the science center. A 5,000+ square foot exhibition space that changes approximately every 100 days as traveling exhibitions are featured. This gallery has been home to many different traveling exhibitions:
Circus! Science Under the Big Top (October 10, 2009–January 3, 2010) – This exciting big top experience celebrated the sights and scents of the circus, even giving visitors body-on high wire and acrobatic experiences. Media Sponsor – Clear Channel Communications
Animation featuring Cartoon Network (January 30 – May 2, 2010) Visitors explored animation from concept to finished product—from storyboarding, character design, and drawing techniques, to movement, timing, filming and sound. Sponsored by The Ohio Lottery
Wise About Eyes (February 19 – June 26, 2010) Educated Ohio’s children and their caregivers about ways that they can keep their eyes healthy and safe. In partnership with Prevent Blindness Ohio
Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe(September 24, 2010 – January 2, 2011) Let visitors peer into the depths of the solar system and beyond by showcasing the outstanding imagery captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sponsored by Ohio Lottery & in partnership with NASA.
BODIES REVEALED (May 21 – December 4, 2011) This world-class blockbuster exhibition exposed the human body in unprecedented detail. BODIES REVEALED extended its stay making its tenure the longest in the science center’s history. Sponsored by Mercy and Mercy College; Media Sponsor – WTOL
Mindbender Mansion(January 28 – April 29, 2012) Over 40 interactive brainteasers challenged visitors to work collaboratively to complete the puzzles. Media sponsor – Buckeye CableSystem
Sesame Street presents The Body(October 2, 2012 – January 27, 2013) Offers an engaging, free-flowing learning experience about the body, set in the fun, familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition (February – May 2014) Takes you on a journey back in time to experience the legend of Titanic like never before.
Dinosaurs Unearthed (October 25, 2014 – April 12, 2015) Experience a new reality with an adventure back in time 65 million years. Actively engage in a unique and entertaining learning experience and discover roaring, moving, life-size, animatronic dinosaurs.
GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World (February 14 – May 17, 2015) Rock out and discover the science and history behind the instrument that revolutionized music: the guitar. Explore all facets of the world’s most popular instrument – from its evolution into an instrument of popular culture to the science of creating sound with wood and steel.
MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition (October 17, 2015 – January 10, 2016)Discover the madness behind the method! Apply the scientific method to uncover the truth behind popular myths.
Design Zone: Create Your Own Experience (May 27, 2016 – September 5, 2016) Discover the fun behind the design. Go behind the scenes and explore how video game developers, music producers, roller coaster designers and other creative problem solvers use math and science to create something amazing!
LEGO® Brick Architecture: Sky High Science (October 8, 2016 – Through April 2017) Travel from San Francisco to Shanghai, Dubai to Chicago and admire the skyscrapers that make each skyline unique. Tucker’s 13 large-scale, artistic models of famous buildings from across the world, showcase some of engineering’s greatest creations and will stir the architect within. Learn More>>