When you visit Imagination Station you will have a whole lot of fun, but here are some things you might not know about us.
We’re a Community Educational Partner
Since opening our doors October 10, 2009, the science center has provided a critical layer of science enrichment by serving as an educational partner for teachers, schools, parents and the community. Each year, the science center welcomes more than 200,000 visitors. About 40% of our visitors are Lucas County residents and more than 28% of our travel from Michigan. The rest travel from across Northwest Ohio and the country. We partner with area universities, Lucas County schools including Sylvania and Toledo Public Schools, Northwest Ohio for Excellence in STEM Education, and WGTE to offer professional development and programming.
Our interactive, hands-on approach immerses visitors of all ages in STEM experiences, in an informal, fun environment, and opens young minds to the wonders of science. Every year, we bring in temporary exhibitions including blockbusters like Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. The science center constantly works to improve our facility through new permanent additions as well. We have added an innovation-themed learning space, IDEA Lab, a new Simulator Theater Experience – Over the Edge, improvements to our health-focused learning space and many new educational programs that address different topics and reach different audiences.
We’re a Science Ambassador
As a community educational partner, we have created programs and initiatives to reach as much of our community as possible. We offer Lucas County residents a variety of benefits, including free admission for kids under 12 every Saturday, discounts on admission rates and discounts on school visits. The science center also brings interactive science education throughout Lucas County and the surrounding region with our Adopt-a-School program to provide field trips and educational outreach to schools with a financial need, grant-funded programs that serve preschool students and groups like the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, partnerships with other nonprofits throughout Toledo and interactive science activities at community events throughout the year. Our Buy One, Give One program has resulted in us donating over 400 memberships to families in need.
We have forged partnerships with local media organizations that allow us to reach more than 33,000 viewers a week through 3 – 5 science experiments that are performed either live on air or in taped segments. We have shared short activities and demonstrations at community events throughout Northwest Ohio and continue to be a key provider of STEM education to the Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio region. Social networking via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages allows us to share our ideas, achievements and daily events with a large audience.
We’re Fun and Innovative
Constantly striving to evolve with the ever-changing science landscape, Toledo's Science Center is always evaluating and re-evaluating our permanent exhibits and host cutting-edge traveling exhibitions. IDEA Lab is the latest addition to our Learning Worlds and it offers visitors an interactive experience with up-to-date technologies. Along with the permanent exhibits, IDEA Lab offers a Tinkering Space where you can settle in and spend as much or as little time as you want playing around with a creation that’s all your own. You also have the option to attend Think Tank workshops to really dig in and explore ideas in a small group experience.
Dynamic temporary exhibitions enhance the learning opportunities at Imagination Station. We bring traveling exhibitions like Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World, Dinosaurs Around the World, and BodyWorlds to the science center every year.
We're a Community Leader
In 2016, Lucas County voters supported the science center and voted to renew Imagination Station's operating levy, which will ensure Imagination Station continues to provide outstanding science enrichment and remain one of the area’s premier cultural attractions. Support from corporate and individual sponsors, as well as a solid volunteer program helps us serve the community by providing more resources for STEM education and programming and playing an integral role in the science center’s operations.
We are proud of our latest achievement as a 2016 finalist for the IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The award is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Imagination Station was one of only 15 museums and science centers to be a finalist for the award out of over 35,000 eligible institutions across the country. We also have been awarded the Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Innovation Award, the BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics and the Ohio Museum Association’s Award for Best Community Collaboration. Learn more about Imagination Station's awards here.
Awards and Recognition
Finalist for the IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service (2016)The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities. Imagination Station was one of only 15 museums and science centers to be a finalist for the award out of over 35,000 eligible institutions across the country.
The Northwest Ohio Nonprofit Innovation Award (2015)Imagination Station received the Nonprofit Innovation Award from The Blade and Toledo Community Foundation for our partnership with Lucas County Children Services. This award is intended to honor and showcase a project, program or initiative that demonstrates an innovative and effective response to community challenges.
BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics (2016)Imagination Station received the BBB Torch Award for Ethics. This award recognizes companies who display an outstanding level of ethics and integrity in all of their business dealings. Imagination Station generates a high level of trust among employees, customers and community.
Ohio Museum Association's Award for Best Community Collaboration (2016)
Imagination Station received this award for our partnership with Lucas Count Children Services. This award recognizes innovative partnerships within communities or among other museums.