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Toledo's Science Center
Imagination Station’s mission to bring science education to the community extends well beyond the permanent exhibits and learning worlds. The science center’s educational efforts include more intensive experiences that promote hands-on, inquiry-based exploration and exciting scientific discovery. Educational programs meet the needs of multiple audiences including children, educators, families and scouts.
Grant & Sponsor Funded Programs
The science center aggressively pursues funding in order to expand existing programs, create new programs, reach new audiences and cover new topics. Imagination Station continues to secure funding for programmatic efforts. Some of these programs include Science Workshops at Lucas County Children Services, Science Story Times at local elementary schools, Energy Explorations and more.
Recognizing the limited transportation budgets in many school districts, Imagination Station features extensive outreach program offerings that bring science education out to the schools: including Science Festivals, Workshop on Wheels, Pre-School Workshop on Wheels and StarLab®. Outreach programs have impacted more than 93,000 students and teachers since Imagination Station opened.
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.
Hot Summer, Cool Science Summer Camps
Now in its sixth season, Imagination Station’s summer camp program has increased attendance by almost 400%, expanded to two offsite locations in 2014 and will offer four exciting themes to choose from this year – Young MacGyver, Taste of Tinkering, Behind the Mask: Superhero Science and Super Splatter Science.
Little Scientist Workshops
Our littlest learners have the opportunity to take part in a series of programs that focus on everything from insects to colors to the seasons. Each session involves a story and a hands-on activity.
This monthly program, for kids ages 7 to 12, covers a variety of topics – from chemistry to astronomy and all the fun, messy science in-between. They encourage participants to come ready to explore hands-on science and learn with other families.
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.
Science Story Time
Every day in Little KIDSPACE Science Studio, an Imagination Station team member shares an engaging story followed by a hands-on science activity with kids kindergarten age and younger.
In addition to meeting the needs of younger visitors, Imagination Station delivers a range of professional development for educators that include:
Prep4Ed – A monthly 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
Science Demonstration Videos – Educational videos of our weekly TV segments that demonstrate and explain a variety of science concepts
Activity Cards – Detailed instructions for classroom-friendly activities along with the science behind each experiment
Free admission – Teachers receive free admission every day
Discover.ed – A monthly electronic newsletter
Imagination Station is an active member of the educational community and has partnered with the University of Toledo, Lucas County Schools including Sylvania Public Schools and Toledo Public Schools, Lourdes University, Bowling Green State University, Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education (NWO) and WGTE to deliver professional development and programming.
Schools are facing fiscal challenges, budgets are being cut and field trips are being canceled. The Adopt-a-School program gives corporations and foundations a way of directly impacting the children in their community by providing them with educational outreach programs and field trips to Imagination Station. The science center has adopted 36,000 students and educators through the Adopt-a-School program.
Imagination Station is aware of the importance of community support in regard to exposure, new exhibits, sponsorships, collaborations, corporate memberships, individual donors, “in-kind” donations and media relations. The community support the science center receives has been outstanding and continues to offer proof that Imagination Station is a community asset to Lucas County and Northwest Ohio.
On-Air Science Education
Imagination Station has established relationships with local media outlets in order to deliver science content to the larger community. Imagination Station frequently garners both print and television media, and has partnered with local television programs to offer regular science segments.
Imagination Station has ongoing collaborations with area organizations like The Toledo Zoo, Toledo Mud Hens, Boys and Girls Club of Toledo, Toledo Walleye, University of Toledo, Lourdes University, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and WGTE. The science center is also an active member of TACL (Toledo Area Cultural Leaders), the Toledo Chamber of Commerce, Destination Toledo and EPIC.