We love the great outdoors, and we have several new outdoor exhibits for guests to enjoy. Before you even enter the museum, follow along the Planetary Pathway, courtesy of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Discover our galaxy with a handy guide along our grounds on your next visit. Thanks to generous donations from Legendary Marine, Whitworth Builders, and Navarre Lumber, you can have an epic high-seas adventure on our new Marine Exhibit. You'll be able to climb aboard our boat and learn how vessels stay afloat in water, how radio communication is made possible on board, and even the engineering behind boat building. Feeling more like making a discovery of mammoth proportions? Stop by our Dino Dig Pit courtesy of Wild Willy's Adventure Zone, GCF Concrete, and Woerner Landscape. Grab your tools and see what creatures lie beneath the sand as you try your hand at paleontology. Be sure to stroll by our aviary, turtle ponds, and tortoise enclosure while you're outside. Play a game of giant checkers and enjoy some fresh air. You can also venture out to our treehouse, Fort Audubon, courtesy of The Shops at Wright Plaza, to see what nature discoveries you can find on your visit. Be sure to check out our mini Florida Trail replica exhibit. Learn about the sections of the trail, safe hiking, and much more at this exhibit courtesy of the Okaloosa Tourist Development Council, the Florida Forestry Service, and American Eagle Fence. Stop by the Wild Weave to add your artistic contribution and play with our Nature Kaleidoscope, too!
Check out our Robotics exhibits! You'll find all sorts of interactive robotic units, including a health robot, underwater exploration units, and so much more!
Engineering, Physics, AR, and Electricity
How can an airflow create a vortex? How fast does wind blow during a hurricane? Experiment with our air cannon, Pendulux, Hurricane Simulator, and more to find the answer! Even play on the Augmented Reality Sandbox, an exciting and educational interactive experience in which users can change and redesign habitats and topography.
Plastic Pollution Solution
This exhibit, courtesy of the Okaloosa Tourist Development Council, allows guests to learn more about how plastic pollution impacts not only the Emerald Coast, but our entire planet. The exhibit was made with plastic pollution collected by Emerald Coast Science Center staff at the Earth Day Beach Clean Up that took place on our local beaches in Northwest Florida on April 29th, 2023. Discover the different types of plastics, how to recycle them, and how to replace plastic use to make an impact on reducing plastic pollution on our planet and in our oceans in this exhibit.
Color, Light, and Sound
Come see these exhibits to learn more about the properties of color and light! From using the light spectrum to create music, a whirling kaleidoscope of light color and modern technology are on display in the center. Bonus--see if you can create a bubble bigger and taller than you in our Big Bubbles exhibit to explore the light and color properties of bubbles. You can also create a colorful masterpiece on our giant LiteZilla courtesy of the Okaloosa Tourist Development Council.
Explore the final frontier! Check out our rotating NISE Network kits in the main gallery space. Explore the universe and learn things like how stars form from the dust and gas that exists in space clumping together, discover how gravitational attraction in space works, and more. With the Reach Across the Stars app, you can discover female scientists that have made epic discoveries in the universe in numerous fields of study. We also have 11 Outreach to Space exhibits, ranging from activities like aiming to reach orbit, rocket launch, and even learning about pressure in space. Looking for more space exploration? Be sure to check out our Planetarium Nights the first and third Thursdays of the month.
sciPad featuring SMALLab Learning Courtesy of Impact100 of Northwest Florida
Ever wondered how much fun it would be to have your entire family play on a room-sized iPad? Join us at the Emerald Coast Science Center to experience just that with our sciPad exhibit! sciPad is an embodied learning environment where every person is up, moving, and collaborating. Movement is tracked by motion capture cameras, allowing you to walk around on a 15-foot by 15-foot playing field to complete activities.
Your family can work together to solve puzzles, create stories and character plots, study the world, and paint digital masterpieces with this innovative programming. With sciPad, our classroom becomes the fraction, letter, molecule, paintbrush, or playing piece in hundreds of educational activities—all so much fun kids don’t even realize they’re learning!
This super fun, super interactive method allows children to collaborate and learn as they move. With lessons over science, language, arts, and more, sciPad featuring SMALLab Learning lessons give families a unique, innovative way to learn together. sciPad programming can be tooled to fit a wide variety of age ranges, from age 2 to 102—so everyone in the family will enjoy going beyond the screen and immersing themselves in science with sciPad.
*Due to the nature of the sciPad exhibit, it is not continuously open. Be sure to check it out on our Discover Science Saturdays and during our summer schedule: sciPad will run from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, June 1, 2023 to August 31, 2023. sciPad is great for field trips, special events, and parties, too.
Emerald Coast Ecosystem Exhibit
This exhibit, courtesy of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council, features interactive elements including a sensory pool noodle ocean, watershed tilt table, and a state-of-the-art augmented reality sandbox where guests can create watershed models and experiment with virtual rainfall. All of these exhibits contain information regarding our watershed, our local waterways, and our indigenous species found in theses waterways.
Mini Makers and Experimenters Lab
Your youngest explorers will go wild for our new lab! All activities and exhibits in our Mini Makers Lab are geared toward preschool-aged learners. With numerous hands-on activities, your toddlers will have a blast learning and exploring the basics of STEM. This room is courtesy of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council.
The Creation Station is open every 3rd Saturday of the month from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Creation Station events and pricing vary, please see our schedule of events for each month's activities. This is not a drop off program, but something for families and groups to enjoy together. The Creation Station is where design, research, engineering, art, mathematics, and science come to life.Spaces are on a first come, first served basis and limited to 20 guests in order to provide enough materials, so please give us a call at 850-664-1261 to reserve your family's spot.
Creature Features, Chemistry Corner, and the STEAM Machine--summer only!
Stop by every Wednesday and Thursday at 11:30 a.m. and Friday at 1:30 p.m. to get an up-close encounter with a few of our critters! Safely interact with our animals and learn about the creatures that call the museum home in these fun presentations. Creature Features run June 1, 2023 through September 1, 2023.
We're also featuring stunning chemistry demonstrations each Friday during our new Chemistry Corner. Enjoy a visual Chem Demo at 11:30 a.m. followed by fun, hands-on chemistry activities from 12-1 p.m.where you get to be the Mad Scientist! Check out Chemistry Corner June 2, 2023 through September 1, 2023.
All aboard the STEAM Machine! Join our newest summer program every Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Enjoy different activities every week, from animal biology to engineering, robotics, and more. Explore creative ways to solve challenges with the whole family. For our upcoming schedule of activities, visit our events page. STEAM Machine activities will be held June 1, 2023 through July 27, 2023.