Report to the Community 2012
Imagination Station, Toledo’s hands-on science center on the downtown riverfront, is a vital non-profit organization that is 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 exhibits, experiences, education and excitement that Imagination Station is inspiring future generations of scientists in northwest Ohio.
The 2008 levy passage has enabled Imagination Station, as promised, to provide Lucas County residents, 12 and under, with free admission every Saturday.
In addition, Imagination Station has also provided Lucas County residents with the following benefits:
- Discounts on admission rates
- Discounts on school visits
- Discounts on Imagination Station memberships
The science center is requesting a renewal of their existing five-year, one-sixth (.17) mill property tax levy from the Levy Review Committee. This levy will continue to cost just $5.21 per $100,000 in residential value annually. Imagination Station’s levy renewal is currently the smallest and will be the smallest on the 2012 Lucas County General Election Ballot. Passage this November will not result in any additional funds for Imagination Station. This is simply a renewal of the needed funds the science center already receives in order to continue offering the residents of Lucas County outstanding learning opportunities.
What Has Been Done
Since opening in 2009, more than 500,000 visitors, nearly half of which were from Lucas County, have explored Imagination Station’s 80,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with more than 250 hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations and engaging experiences. Additionally, more than 18,500 Lucas County students have been impacted by Imagination Station’s educational efforts through outreach programs.
Lucas County Residents asked for an engaging, updated facility and the science center listened. Imagination Station is always seeking outstanding traveling exhibitions to feature, community partners with which to collaborate and unique events to share.
In the science center’s few short years, look at what has been accomplished.
Permanent Exhibitions and Exhibits
As part of the promises made during the science center’s previous levy campaign, a number of community partners offered their financial support in the form of new exhibitions. Over the past few years, these partners have given Imagination Station the unique opportunity to continue expanding their permanent exhibition spaces by offering vital educational experiences relevant to northwest Ohio. New permanent experiences include:
- LIVE Report! (February 24, 2010)
This technology based exhibit that puts visitors behind the sports desk. Sponsored by Buckeye CableSystem
- Energy Factory (May 13, 2010)
This powerful learning world offers visitors a glimpse into the abstract world of oil refining and solar power. Sponsored by BP Husky Refining and First Solar
- Blade Wall (December 1, 2010)
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
- Engineer It! (January 20, 2011)
This highly interactive learning world urges visitors to use the Think It, Build It, Test It and Do It Again engineering philosophy. Sponsored by SSOE
- Eat It Up! (April 6, 2012)
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
- Grow U (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.
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 6 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
Imagination Station Featured Exhibitions
Imagination Station has developed a number of feature experiences that rotate in the Flexible Gallery.
- BIG DIG: Footprints to Fossils (May 29–September 6, 2010) & (January–April 2011)
An Imagination Station original exhibition that showcased the tremendous geological history on which Lucas County was built. 2010 – Sponsored by The Ohio Lottery and K12 Ohio Virtual Academy & 2011 – Sponsored by Genoa Bank
- Farm Fest (June 9-July 1, 2012)
A 3-week long event to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture. Sponsored by The Andersons, Inc.
Events and Guests
The renewed popularity of Toledo’s science center has attracted some of science’s leading professionals to visit Toledo. And while Imagination Station’s focus has been primarily on the STEM fields of study (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), a new emphasis is being placed on the integration of art and science, an initiative referred to as STEAM. With this in mind, Imagination Station has welcomed dozen’s of local and national artists that help to blend the worlds of science and art.
- Astronaut Scott Altman
- Brent Bos – NASA Engineer
- Russell Werneth – NASA Engineer
- Paleontologist Scott Sampson, host of PBS’s Dinosaur Train. Dr. Sampson surprised Imagination Station visitors by unveiling images of a newly discovered species of dinosaur, never before seen.
- Dr. Roy Glover, Chief Medical Director for BODIES REVEALED
- Nathan Drendel, ProMedica’s Wellness Dietician
- Mercy College Professors, BODIES REVEALED interview series
- Mercy Physicians, BODIES REVEALED interview series
- SSOE Engineers
- Dr. Michelle Ariss, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Vision Associates
- Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center DaVinciÒ Surgical Robot
- American Chemical Society, University of Toledo Chapter
- Artists & World Record Holders
- Tim George “Mr. Etch-a-Sketch”
- Dr. Thomas Clark “Dr. Snowflake”
- Cyd Moore – Children’s Book Illustrator
- Carl Jara – international sand carving champion
- Michele Stitzlein – “The Bottle Cap Lady” (permanent installation in Science Studio)
- Chad Hartson – international ice carving champion
- Re-Surgence Artists – Imagination Station visitors assisted the artists to create a permanent installation at the Huntington Center.
- Penta Career Center Culinary Department – designed and built the Gingerbread Village
- Mason Langenderfer – local 6th grader that currently holds the Guinness Book of World Record’s record for Sport Cup Stacking
STEM Educational Programs
Meeting Imagination Station’s mission to inspire in children the wonder of science and technology often involves more than a field trip to the science center. The science center’s programmatic efforts entail a more intensive experience that promotes hands-on, inquiry-based exploration and engages children in exciting scientific discovery. Imagination Station is committed to growing program offerings in a responsible, sustainable way. That is why programs have been slowly introduced over time to meet the needs of multiple audiences including children, educators, families and scouts. These include:
- Outreach – Recognizing the limited transportation budgets in many school districts, Imagination Station features extensive outreach program offerings, including Science Festivals, Workshops-on-Wheels and StarLabs, which bring science education to the schools. Outreach programs have impacted more than 18,500 Lucas County students since Imagination Station opened.
- Science Weeks – Each year, in collaboration with national initiatives and working with local partners, Imagination Station features special science weeks that deliver specific science content to visitors through fun, interactive activities. These weeks include:
- National Chemistry Week – Sponsored by the American Chemical Society, University of Toledo
- National Engineering Week – Sponsored locally by SSOE
- Little Scientists Week (specifically for children age kindergarten and under) that has been sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and WGTE
- Hot Summer, Cool Science Summer Camps – Now in it’s third season, Imagination Station’s summer camp program has increased attendance by more than 300% and offers 3 exciting themes to choose from – Catapults, Coasters and Cars!, Museum in Motion and Super Splatter Science.
- Camp-In – Imagination Station’s themed overnight experience allows scouts, school groups and families to explore the science center after dark. In this program’s short time, nearly 1,000 students have explored the science center from this perspective.
- Scout Badge Programs – To help Scout troops reach their badge and belt loop requirements, Imagination Station hosts Scout Badge workshops that engage the scouts and inspire them to achieve their goals while having fun. In the 2012-2013 scout season, Imagination Station will add Daisy Days and Tiger Times scout programs for the youngest scouts.
- Family Workshops – Learning together as a family offers a unique opportunity for parents to interact with their children and observe how they learn. Family Workshops are also a great way for families to spend quality time together.
- Educator Resources - In addition to meeting the needs of our younger visitors, Imagination Station delivers a range of professional development for educators that include:
- Discover.ed – a monthly electronic newsletter
- Prep4Ed – a quarterly program that acclimates educators to the science center prior to a field trip so that students can get the most out of their experience
- Exhibit Guides – educational companions that accompany specific exhibits and learning worlds.
- Free admission – teachers receive free admission every day.
- Project Energy - During the 2010-2011 school year, the science center in partnership with Lourdes University and Toledo Public Schools offered this program aimed at increasing confidence in energy-related concepts and using inquiry science to develop a project-based unit.
- Educational Partnerships – Imagination Station is an active member of the educational community and has partnered with the University of Toledo, Lourdes University and Bowling Green State University to deliver professional development and programming.
- 21st Century Learning Awards – Imagination Station has created the 21st Century Learning Awards as a celebration of students’ achievements in the STEM fields of study (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the teachers who inspire them.