COSI

Last updated

COSI
COSI science museum logo.svg
Columbus, Ohio JJ 71-crop.jpg
West facade and Dorrian Green
COSI
Established1964 (1964)
Location Columbus, Ohio
Coordinates 39°57′34.880″N83°0′24.811″W / 39.95968889°N 83.00689194°W / 39.95968889; -83.00689194 Coordinates: 39°57′34.880″N83°0′24.811″W / 39.95968889°N 83.00689194°W / 39.95968889; -83.00689194
Type Science museum
FounderSanford N. Hallock II
CEO Frederic Bertley
ChairpersonTom Dailey
Public transit accessAiga bus trans.svg COTA alt logo.svg 10, 12
Ic directions bike 48px.svg CoGo
Website www.cosi.org

COSI, officially the Center of Science and Industry, is a science museum and research center in Columbus, Ohio. COSI was opened to the public on 29 March 1964 and remained there for 35 years. In 1999, COSI was moved to a 320,000-square-foot (30,000 m2) facility, designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki along a bend in the Scioto River in the Franklinton neighborhood. COSI features more than 300 interactive exhibits throughout themed exhibition areas. [1]

Contents

As a center of science and industry (rather than a standalone science center), [2] COSI established embedded partnerships with local organizations. WOSU@COSI (Central Ohio's NPR member station and Public Broadcasting Service public media station) maintains a digital media center and offices; the Ohio State University maintains a center of research as well as health & medicine laboratories staffed by medical residents, and Columbus Historical Society maintains offices and exhibit space.

COSI operates the largest outreach education program of any science museum in the United States, including COSI in the Classroom, 21st Century Lab field trip experiences, international distance education Interactive Video Conferencing programs, and COSI On Wheels traveling outreach program. [3] In 1972, COSI originated the Camp-In overnight program for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts – a concept now commonplace in museums nationwide. Since 1964, COSI has engaged with nearly 30 million unique visitors through on-site and outreach programs. [1]

As a non-profit organization, COSI is supported by ticket sales, a network of community and statewide partnerships (including relationships with a variety of donors and sponsors), a volunteer program supported by 10,000 volunteers annually, and nearly 20,000 member households. [4] In 2008, COSI was named the #1 science center in the United States for families by Parent Magazine. [5] In 2020, it was named the #1 Science Museum in the United States by USA Today. [6]

Exhibit areas

The museum's Foucault pendulum, located at the facility's west entrance. AUT 0344.JPG
The museum's Foucault pendulum, located at the facility's west entrance.

Upon relocating to its new home in 1999, COSI was developed with large, self-contained, themed atria, each dedicated to a single topic (similar to the style of world's fair pavilions) and designed as immersive theatrical learning worlds. As of 2018, COSI contains seven main exhibit areas: Ocean, Energy Explorers, Space, Progress, Gadgets, Life, and the American Museum of National History Dinosaur Gallery. [7] Hallways between each learning world are filled with hands-on exhibits and displays.

Ocean

Accessed via an underwater cave through a crashed shipwreck, the cavern path splits as guests pass to the right or left. The pathway to the right leads to a docked submarine laboratory where hands-on exhibits explore the realities of ocean research, submersibles, SCUBA, water pressure, and remote-operated vehicles. Lilypad Lab focuses on drainage basin and Central Ohio wildlife. The path forking left from the shipwreck leads to the Temple of Poseidon, an ancient stone chamber built around a 30-foot tall statue of Poseidon with waterfalls, fountains, and water jets. Another realm focuses not on the study of water but on the properties of water and the stories it inspires – laminar flow, whirlpools, erosion, water bells, and mythology.

Energy Explorers

Energy Explorers, which opened in 2013, allows visitors to choose an avatar character that follows the guest to the Home Zone, Transportation Zone, and Product Zone of a town, making decisions via computer kiosks to balance energy efficiency and cost.

Space

The Space exhibit area features a replica space station pod to tour, a recreation of John Glenn's Friendship 7 spacecraft from the Mercury-Atlas 6, remote-operated vehicles, balance tests, and other hands-on experiments that deal with space flight trajectory, gravitational pull, and simulated rover landings. Space was originally located on Level 2 in its own enclosed atrium exhibit area, entered via a "black hole" spinning funhouse hallway meant to disorient guests. The exhibit itself was in a dark, immersive, themed area, stylized after the 1969 moon landing of Apollo 11. Under starry skies, guests interacted with "retro" stylized monitors and exhibits with a matching wood-panel / brushed metal motif that was reminiscent of the era, even included a 1960s living room (including shag carpeting) where guests could watch the recorded landing.

When the south end of COSI's building was closed due to lost levies in 2004, the Space exhibit was relocated from Level 2 to an empty gallery on Level 1. In 2012, that area become Energy Explorers, necessitating yet another location switch. Some of the Space exhibit's displays moved to the Mezzanine Level while much remained in storage. With the re-opening of COSI's Planetarium in November 2014, the location of Space on the Mezzanine leading toward the Planetarium's lobby was reinforced by the return and refurbishment of the rest of Space's exhibits. However, Space remains the only one of COSI's seven learning worlds to not have its own dedicated, theatrical, immersive atrium, instead being located on the bright Mezzanine bridge.. The original home of Space is now Gallery 3, available for traveling exhibits and special event rentals. Gallery 3 still contains the Galaxy Theater, fittingly still painted with murals of planets and stars leftover from its time as a live theater for Space.

Progress

The Progress exhibit (modeled after the Streets of Yesteryear exhibit at COSI's original location) traces the hopes and fears of a small town called Progress in 1898, just as electricity, horseless carriages, and canned food become available. The recreated town (specifically, the shops, homes, and restaurants at the corner of Hope Street and Fear Street) includes a telegraph office, livery, stable, grocer, apothecary, and clothiers. After visitors walk through Progress in 1898, they turn the corner and enter the same intersection of the same town 64 years later in 1962, where a new set of hopes and fears have arisen.

In 1962, the town of Progress includes an appliance store, a working TV studio, a radio station (where the telegraph office was), a department store, a diner, and a gas station (replacing the livery). At the exit, the exhibit challenges guests to consider how the streets of the village of Progress might look today, and to question why the concept of progress deserves as much weight in the scientific study as that of oceans, space, or energy.

Gadgets

The Gadgets exhibit area contains many classic science museum hands-on experiments, such as pulleys, wind tunnels, plasmaglobes, magnets, light bulbs, engines, and counterweights. As well, Gadgets contains the Gadgets Café, where families are seated and given a menu with quick science experiments to choose from. A take-apart menu allows visitors to disassemble donated phones, computers, clocks, and other electronic devices, which are recycled afterward.

Life

Life explores humanity through three separate areas dedicated to the mind, body, and spirit. The Mind area contains optical illusions, physical illusions, an anechoic chamber, and a posable zoetrope. Spirit discusses the concept of birth and death and how human cultures understand them. Body features interactive health stations where visitors can record their weight, flexibility, and heart rate, then compare their statistics to that of COSI visitors and national averages. Life also contains the Labs in Life, three working research pods staffed by OSU students and staff.

Main COSI Columbus Sign 1.jpg

On November 19 of 2017, COSI, in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History, opened a permanent Dinosaur Gallery. A traveling special exhibition gallery opened in the Spring of 2018. Together, they occupy 22,000 square feet on the first floor. [8]

Other features

The building also contains an interactive "little kidspace" area designed for children up through first grade, the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater (the largest digital screen in Ohio), and an outdoor Big Science Park. On November 22, 2014, COSI reopened its 60-foot diameter, 220-seat Planetarium (Ohio's largest) with all new digital projection. In addition, there is a History of COSI exhibit.

The building also includes three large galleries for traveling exhibits and special event hosting, a Dive Theater in Ocean, the Galaxy Theater in Gallery 3 (its name a remnant of when Gallery 3 was once the Space exhibit), the Gadgets Stage, the Atomic Cafe, the Science2Go! retail store, and five meeting rooms utilizing refurbished areas within the former Central High School, which the new COSI location was built around.

COSI Science Festival

On May 1-4, 2019, COSI, joined by Battelle, NASA, businesses, organizations, universities, and STEM leaders, hosted over one hundred community events showcasing science across Central Ohio as part of the inaugural COSI Science Festival. The 2019 COSI Science Festival was among the largest science events in Ohio history and included four days of events at central Ohio businesses, community centers, libraries, schools, and more. As part of the COSI Science Festival, COSI, Battelle, NASA, and other Central Ohio STEM leaders formed an unprecedented partnership that impacted 40,000 people. In May 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an all-digital COSI Science Festival garnered 118,990 total online views of 39 separate virtual science events.

History

The museum's east portion was formerly Central High School Central High School 1.jpg
The museum's east portion was formerly Central High School

COSI opened on March 29, 1964, as a venture of the Franklin County Historical Society. COSI is a founding member of the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative (SMEC) and a long-standing member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC).

From its 1964 opening, COSI was housed in Memorial Hall, a Columbus landmark constructed in 1906. COSI closed at the Memorial Hall location on East Broad Street on September 6, 1999, and re-opened two months later on November 6, 1999, at its new location on the Scioto riverfront in downtown Columbus. The 320,000 square foot facility was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who designed an elliptical, geometric, "blimp" shaped structure composed of 159 curved concrete panels. [9] The museum is designed to appear progressively futuristic from the neighborhood of Franklinton, while from downtown Columbus it uses the exterior of the original Central High School to blend into the city. [9]

COSI's Holiday Science of the Season Celebration annually from the day before Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve. COSIHolidayPhoto.JPG
COSI's Holiday Science of the Season Celebration annually from the day before Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve.

Shortly after the move to the riverfront, the museum experienced a shortfall of funds. With an initial construction budget of over $210 million, high maintenance costs of the new facility, "six-figure" utility bills, and "lower-than-expected" ticket sales, COSI's reliance on admission revenue proved an unsuitable long term plan. [10] In 2004, the museum spearheaded an effort to assess a property tax levy, chaired by former NASA astronaut John Glenn. The levy would have imposed a property tax on residents of Franklin County, who would receive free admission in return. The levy failed. As a result, the south wing of COSI's "blimp" structure was closed.

As part of the reconfiguration of the museum following the loss of the levy in 2004, COSI opened only five days per week instead of seven. Many of the museum's exhibits were announced to close permanently (though many have re-opened in stages in the years since). [11] Two of the original exhibit areas were closed permanently (called i|o and SimZone, the spaces they formerly occupied are now Gallery 1 and Energy Explorers, respectively).

Closures from 2004 that have since been reversed include Space (relocated to Level 1 in 2005, then to the Mezzanine in 2012), the original Gallery 1 (space reused as WOSU@COSI in September 2006 [12] ), Adventure (re-opened as an additional-charge experience in September 2010 [13] ), CityView (still off-limits to the public; now available for special events), and the Planetarium (re-opened in November 2014 as the final piece of the building to come back online [14] ).

COSI from across the Scioto River Columbus-ohio-cosi-summer.jpg
COSI from across the Scioto River

During the spring and summer of 2005, COSI hosted the blockbuster traveling exhibition "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" and saw record attendance (prompting the return of the exhibit in 2010). In the summer of 2006, COSI hosted another large exhibit: "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination", produced by the Museum of Science, Boston.

In April 2006 Dr. David Chesebrough, former president and CEO of the Buffalo Museum of Science, became COSI's new president and CEO. He replaced former NASA astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan, who became COSI science advisor on a volunteer basis while serving as the Director of Ohio State University's Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy.

Since then, COSI has integrated additional-cost traveling exhibits as part of its funding model. The museum has hosted EINSTEIN, An Exhibition on the Man and his Science (2007), Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics (2007), CSI: The Experience (2008), Geckos: From Tail to Toepads (2011), Dinosaurs: Explore. Escape. Survive. (2011) (2011), RACE: Are We So Different? (2012), WATER (2012), LEGO Castle Adventure (2012), BODYWORLDS and The Brain (2012), MindBender Mansion and Amazing Mazes (2013), MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition (2013), and Sherlock Holmes: The Exhibition (2014). COSI also developed its own traveling exhibit, Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science (2009) in cooperation with the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative, built by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

In January 2016, Dr. Chesebrough announced that he planned to retire at the end of 2016. [15] On November 10, 2016, the COSI board of trustees announced the selection of Dr. Frederic Bertley as COSI Columbus' new president and CEO, effective January 1, 2017. [16]

On August 23, 2016, the Capitol South Community Redevelopment Corp. announced the approval of a $37 million plan to replace the 600-spot parking lots on COSI's west side with an underground parking garage topped with an 8-acre green space and programmatic park as a complement to the larger Scioto Peninsula green space along the Scioto River. The construction project is expected to be completed in spring 2018. [17]

A park by COSI, Dorrian Green, was built in 2018 COSI - Dorrian Green 04.jpg
A park by COSI, Dorrian Green, was built in 2018

On September 16, 2016, COSI announced a partnership between the city of Columbus and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City to build a $5 million permanent Dinosaur Exhibition Gallery and a dedicated AMNH Traveling Exhibition Gallery replacing the WOSU and Adventure exhibits. The WOSU exhibit has since relocated; however, the Adventure exhibition closed permanently on January 1, 2017. [18] [19]

Operating statistics[ citation needed ]

YearTotal Attendance RecordedCost of Admission
1967172,215
1974191,755
1976263,039
1978$1.50
1980300,000
1982320,000
1983$3.50
1984393,415
1986519,163
1987666,017
1990694,012
1992719,693
1996$6.00
1999$12.00
2008543,116
2009607,333
2010636,863
2015670,041$19.00
2016
2017$20.00
2018719,189 [20]
2019$25.00

See also

Related Research Articles

Science museum Museum devoted primarily to science

A science museum is a museum devoted primarily to science. Older science museums tended to concentrate on static displays of objects related to natural history, paleontology, geology, industry and industrial machinery, etc. Modern trends in museology have broadened the range of subject matter and introduced many interactive exhibits. Modern science museums, increasingly referred to as 'science centres' or 'discovery centres', also feature technology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum</span> Science museum in Bangalore, India

The Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum (VITM), Bangalore, India, a constituent unit of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Ministry of Culture, Government of India, was established in memory of Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya. The building, with a built up area of 4,000 m2 (43,000 sq ft), was constructed in Cubbon Park. It houses various scientific experiments and engines, and was inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on 14 July 1962. The first gallery set up at VITM, on the theme of 'Electricity', was opened to the public on 27 July 1965.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a science and technology museum in Portland, Oregon, United States. It contains three auditoriums, including a large-screen theatre, planetarium, and exhibition halls with a variety of hands-on permanent exhibits focused on natural sciences, industry, and technology. Transient exhibits span a wider range of disciplines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ontario Science Centre</span>

The Ontario Science Centre, formally the Centennial Museum of Science and Technology, is a science museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located near the Don Valley Parkway about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) northeast of downtown on Don Mills Road just south of Eglinton Avenue East in the former city of North York. It is built down the side of a wooded ravine formed by one branch of the Don River located in Flemingdon Park.

University of Nebraska State Museum

The University of Nebraska State Museum, also known as Morrill Hall, founded in 1871, is a natural history museum featuring Nebraska biodiversity, paleontology, and cultural diversity, located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln City Campus near the corner of 14th and Vine Streets in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. The museum houses Mueller Planetarium, a hands-on science discovery center, and the Elephant Hall, where visitors can see the world's largest articulated fossil mammoth among the collection of fossil elephants. Also featured are interactive paleontology exhibits, a dinosaur gallery, ancient life and evolution exhibits, wildlife dioramas, gems and minerals, American Indian and African exhibits, and a temporary exhibit gallery featuring rotating displays on diverse topics including photography, quilts and fine arts.

Museum of Science (Boston) Science museum, Indoor zoo in Boston, Massachusetts

The Museum of Science (MoS) is a science museum and indoor zoo in Boston, Massachusetts, located in Science Park, a plot of land spanning the Charles River. Along with over 700 interactive exhibits, the museum features a number of live presentations throughout the building every day, along with shows at the Charles Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni Theater, the only domed IMAX screen in New England. The museum is also an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is home to over 100 animals, many of which have been rescued and rehabilitated.

Carnegie Science Center Science museum, , Technology museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Carnegie Science Center is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is located in the Chateau neighborhood. It is located across the street from Heinz Field.

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination is a traveling exhibition created by the Museum of Science, Boston, featuring props and costumes used in the Star Wars films, but focusing primarily on the science behind George Lucas' science fiction epic. Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination was developed by Boston's Museum of Science, in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., with the support of the National Science Foundation, under Grant No. 0307875. This exhibit is presented nationally by Bose Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fleet Science Center</span> Science museum and planetarium in San Diego, United States

The Fleet Science Center is a science museum and planetarium in Balboa Park, located in San Diego, California. It is at the east end of the El Prado Drive walkway, next to the Bea Evenson Fountain and plaza in central Balboa Park.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Telus World of Science Edmonton</span>

Telus World of Science Edmonton (TWOSE) is a broad-based science centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, operated by the (non-profit) Edmonton Space & Science Foundation. The centre is located on the southwest corner of Coronation Park in the neighborhood of Woodcroft. The science centre houses 144,430 sq. ft. of public space and is the largest science centre in Western Canada .. It is currently a member of both the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC).

WOSU-TV is a PBS member television station in Columbus, Ohio, United States. Owned by The Ohio State University as part of WOSU Public Media, it is sister to public radio stations WOSU-FM (89.7) and WOSA. The three stations share studios on North Pearl Street near the OSU campus; WOSU-TV's transmitter is located on Highland Lakes Avenue in Westerville, Ohio.

Science Museum Oklahoma is a science museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The museum is home to the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and a number of specialized galleries. The facility covers over 390,000 square feet, which makes it one of the largest science museums in the nation. It began as the Kirkpatrick Planetarium in 1958 with major additions in 1980, 1985, 2000, and 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science</span>

The Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science is a general-interest museum located on the Ohio riverfront in downtown Evansville, Indiana, United States. Founded in 1904, it is one of Southern Indiana's most established and significant cultural institutions, with comprehensive collections in art, history, anthropology and science. It has a permanent collection of over 30,000 objects including fine arts, decorative arts, historic documents and photographs, and anthropologic and natural history artifacts. Also on the Museum's campus is the Evansville Museum Transportation Center, featuring Southern Indiana transportation artifacts from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Imagination Station Science museum in Toledo, Ohio

Imagination Station is a non-profit, hands-on science museum located on the Maumee riverfront in downtown Toledo, Ohio. The facility has over 300 exhibits for "children of all ages."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Orlando Science Center</span> Science museum in Orlando, Florida

The Orlando Science Center (OSC) is a private science museum located in Orlando, Florida. Its purposes are to provide experience-based opportunities for learning about science and technology and to promote public understanding of science.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is located on 1600 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107 in the city's Cultural District. It was opened in 1945 as the Fort Worth Children's Museum and moved to its current location in 1954. In 1968, the museum adopted its current name. Attractions at the museum include the Noble Planetarium, the Omni Theater, and the Star's Café, in addition to both traveling and permanent science and history exhibits.

Texas Museum of Science and Technology Science museum in Cedar Park, Texas

The Texas Museum of Science & Technology (TXMOST) opened in March 2015 in an interim facility in Cedar Park, Texas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Veterans Memorial and Museum</span> Veterans museum in Columbus, Ohio

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM) is the United States' national museum for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. The museum is located in Columbus, Ohio, along the Scioto River between Franklinton and Downtown Columbus. The museum's main focus is on the personal stories of U.S. veterans, in contrast to other war museums that are dedicated to the conflicts themselves. It opened on October 27, 2018, as a reimagining of the Franklin County Veterans Memorial, a museum dedicated to veterans from the surrounding county, established in 1955.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scioto Mile</span> Park in Columbus, Ohio

The Scioto Mile is a collection of parks and trails along both banks of the Scioto River in Columbus, Ohio, connecting parts of the Scioto Greenway Trail with downtown Columbus and Franklinton. The nine parks cover 145 acres (59 ha).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Columbus Historical Society</span> Historical society for Columbus, Ohio

The Columbus Historical Society (CHS) is the historical society for Columbus, Ohio, chronicling the city's history. The society office and museum building is located in the Franklinton neighborhood. In 2020, the Columbus Historical Society aims to raise funds to purchase Engine House No. 6 for its first permanent home.

References

  1. 1 2 "About COSI".
  2. "COSI's Center of Science Model" (PDF).
  3. "COSI - For Educators".
  4. "Volunteer & Employment". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  5. "10 Best Science Centers". Parents .
  6. "Center of Science and Industry (COSI) named America's best science museum".
  7. "COSI - Exhibits & Live Shows".
  8. Gordon, Ken (September 16, 2016). "Columbus Dispatch" . Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  9. 1 2 "High Concrete Group" . Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  10. "COSI Planetarium to go black; other programs scaled back".
  11. "COSI to reallocate exhibit spaces in September".
  12. "WOSU@COSI Grand Opening".
  13. "COSI to reopen popular Adventure exhibit".
  14. "COSI's renovated planetarium to reopen after decade absence".
  15. Gilchrist, Shannon (January 29, 2016). "President who helped revive COSI announces he'll retire". Columbus Dispatch . Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  16. Gordon, Ken (November 11, 2016). "$5 million from state budget to bring dinosaur exhibit to COSI". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  17. "COSI underground parking, park get go-ahead". August 23, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  18. Gordon, Ken (September 16, 2016). "$5 million from state budget to bring dinosaur exhibit to COSI". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  19. Rotuno-Johnson, Michelle (September 21, 2016). "COSI will close 'Adventure' exhibit to make room for natural history galleries". WCMH-TV. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  20. "Infographic". 2018 Year in Review. COSI Columbus / Foleon. 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2019.