Last updated: 3/19/2012
Lansing, Michigan
200 Museum Dr.
Lansing, MI 48933
phone: 517-485-8116
fax: 517-485-8125
Monday - Friday10 AM - 5 PM
Saturday10 AM - 7 PM
Sunday12 PM - 5 PM
Closed major holidays, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Easter Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving Day
Gift Shop
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Erik Larson, Executive Director
Joyce White, Communications Assistant
phone: 517-485-8116 x26

Our visitors can use more than 150 activities in our 25,000-square-foot exhibit area to explore a range of science concepts and discover that learning is fun!

Our exhibit area

Our exhibit area is a self-choice, learner-directed environment designed to provide each of our visitors with the tools and freedom to explore science concepts in ways that are suited to his or her individual interests, needs, and learning style. Visitors have the freedom to follow their own pathways in exploring subjects and concepts that interest them, are able to create experiences that are unique to their needs, and ultimately, can construct meaning that is relevant to their lives.


In the Bubbles Room, visitors will explore how soap and water molecules interact to create the structure of a bubble. In this open-ended and fun exhibit, visitors explore the chemistry of soap films, create beautiful forms and colors, and even stand inside a giant bubble! Can you make a square bubble?


How can the whole universe be made of only 114 elements? Connecting with Chemistry is an exhibit about the interactions and reactions between atoms and molecules that make up the world around us. Manipulate models and participate in real chemical reactions to learn how atoms bond together to form molecules.


Based on concepts contained in the Michigan Science Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School, this exhibit will allow students to explore electricity and magnetism and the relationship between them. In this shocking exhibit, students use magnets to make electricity—and electricity to make magnets! They will explore the relationship between electricity and magnetism, build parallel and series circuits, and explore how chemical energy is converted into electric currents. Students can also explore how electricity is generated from solar and wind energy!


The newly renovated First Impression Room is a space for young scientists ages birth to four years to experience and learn about science in a comfortable and creative environment.


The Giant Eye lets you see your own eyes in an entirely new way! After all, the eye is one of the most fascinating organs in the human body! Walk into this 7-foot tall model of a human eye to learn about the anatomy of your eyes and how this incredible organ transforms light into images of the world around you. Surrounding activities provide opportunities for deeper exploration of vision.


How can we learn what a distant star is made of? Nearly everything we know about the universe has been learned through studying the light that reaches us from distant objects. In the Light & Color exhibit, visitors explore the electromagnetic spectrum and learn how astronomers use telescopes and spectroscopy to answer questions about distant stars. Visitors will view and compare the spectra of several different light sources, explore lenses, prisms and mirrors on the light table, and mix primary colors to create white light. The latest addition to the Light & Color exhibit is a video presentation direct from NASA’s Space Telescope Science Institute. In this mini-theater, students can view programs about cutting-edge research, basic space science concepts, and stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope!


What does a sound look like? Use a variety of activities including real musical instruments like a piano, a dulcimer and others to explore the concepts of sound waves and vibrations.


What does the world look like through the eyes of a naturalist? Opening fall 2011, this exciting new exhibit will allow you to explore natural environments found in Michigan without ever setting foot outside the science center! With a variety of new technological tools, you'll be challenged to use thinking and inquiry skills as you get up close and personal with living systems. Using a remote-controlled camera, you will see native Michigan fish as you've never seen them before! You will have the opportunity to explore the microscopic world in a drop of pond water using a digital microscope. You will be challenged to take a second look as they create models and drawings of their discoveries, just like a naturalist in the field!


How can you possibly move a 500-pound block of concrete? In this exhibit, you can explore concepts of work and mechanical advantage using a set of activities expressly designed with the Michigan Elementary Science Curriculum in mind. The equation W=F x d (Work equals Force times distance) is reiterated in several different ways using levers, pulleys, inclined planes, and gears to explore the concept of work!


What differences do you feel? What differences do you see? Visitors are challenged to make observations in this exhibit about rotational motion. Crank up a giant flywheel, develop your mathematical understanding of torque, or spin yourself around in our spinning momentum chair to explore angular momentum. Comic book-style graphics are used to engage learners in a conversation about these concepts and prompt observations in these whirling activities.


Where does the energy come from to launch a ball through space? Explore the laws of motion, ballistics, and energy transformations while pitching, launching and catapulting tennis balls in this set of high-energy activities!


Why do some things float while others don’t? The Water Room engages visitors in exploration and serves as an entryway into learning experiences in a number of scientific disciplines. Younger learners explore concepts of measurement and pressure while more advanced learners experiment with buoyancy, flow dynamics, and how a boat can move up- or down-hill through a system of locks. Plus, visitors can now explore where our water comes from by exploring our latest Water Room addition, Window on Water, a giant groundwater model!


Impression 5 Science Center is a dynamic, interactive space for families to play, create, and challenge their understanding of science. Our mission is to facilitate learners in scientific exploration through hands-on exhibits and participatory educational programming.


The hands-on learning environment of Impression 5 opened in 1972 and has served nearly 3 million visitors over the past 40 years! Since 1982, Impression 5 has been located on Museum Drive in downtown Lansing.

“Impression 5” still refers to the five senses and the way that each sense is engaged during a visit to the Science Center!


Lecture Halls

Performance Areas


Wheelchair Accessible


Birthday Parties at Impression 5!

When you spend your birthday at Impression 5, you can explore the exhibits, create your own slime to take home, investigate what makes your hair stand up and more! All packages include admission to the Science Center for you and your guests. Party size may be limited by available space.

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental


Group Tours

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Established in 1996, iondesign is an award winning design firm that has developed a niche in producing interpretive exhibits for sites nationwide. We are positioned to help clients communicate brand value and interpret history to engage visitors. We bring together a team of high-level professionals for every project to create a strategic partnership with you to support your mission.