Through exhibits that explore everything from astronomy and physics to biology and paleontology, the Science Factory inspires a lifelong love of science in children as well as adults. Above all else, the nonprofit embraces a motto of "please touch," creating safe, engaging opportunities for children to act on their curiosity and gain insight into the principles underlying scientific and technological theories.
The Exploration Dome exemplifies the immersive nature of the Museum, surrounding audiences with a full-dome screen that displays digital and live-action films. These educational features can take guests to virtually any location in the world and beyond, including the heart of the Borneo rainforest, the depths of prehistoric oceans, the edge of our galaxy's super-massive black hole, and a universe where popcorn kernels never get stuck in your teeth. Permanent exhibits—including a feature on responsible recycling as well as a terrarium of lizards, frogs, and plants, complete with Renegade, the Museum's resident iguana—explore topics in more depth, complementing both the Exploration Dome’s videos and an ever-changing roster of special attractions.
Glass doors line two lofted floors at The Lesson Factory's headquarters, barely able to contain the harmonies held within. In training rooms throughout the facility, instructors—some with degrees as high as the graduate level—guide aspiring musicians of all ages toward their music-making goals with programs geared to individualized learning. Students choose from rock and classical instruments, learning how to form chords on a guitar, keep steady rhythms on drums, or nobly play violin on a sinking boat. Thanks to a steady schedule of blues jams for adults and recitals for kids, all budding musicians get the chance to show off their skills to an audience on a regular basis.
An open studio for artists of all skill levels, The Glass Fuser welcomes guests to drop in and create fused glass art anytime during open hours. No experience is necessary. Resident artists lead a series of courses that – starting with a beginner class – build on skills and explore different techniques, such as three-layer plates and glass cutting.
As a Bullseye Resource Center, The Glass Fuser also vends a wide selection of sheet and accessory glass. Artists may opt to purchase their own glass, create their own projects, and pay a firing fee. All-inclusive project packages are also available.
An accomplished performer and member of the Music Teachers National Association and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers, instructional maestro Michael Wheeler uses his professional experience and a collaborative spirit to create individually tailored, one-on-one music lessons for students of all skill levels. Upon arriving for their first foray into song, each student will have their skills, goals, and ability to correctly pronounce "glockenspiel" evaluated, and Wheeler will use the half hour to develop a lesson plan. Lesson number two welcomes fingers to flutter across keys during piano and keyboard lessons, or unlock the traditional sounds of North India and delve into the fundamentals of sitar, dilruba, or harmonium. Together, pupil and teacher select lyrical material that's both personally exciting and age appropriate, saving teenagers from crooning "Moon River" and grandparents from an embarrassing round of "I Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
Family owned and operated from the same location since 1931, Dot Dotson's combines a traditional full-service film lab with the convenience and versatility of modern digital processing. Their doting depictionary doctors will work with you on every photo, adjusting color and brightness and cropping out extraneous scenery, red eyes, and imaginary friends. Each prepaid digital-print card entitles memory collectors to 100 color prints and has no expiration date, allowing guests to make a one-time trade for excessive vacation photos, or stop by once a year to remember a century's worth of Nessie sightings. (8"x10" photo must be redeemed before February 15, 2010).
For $40, you get one month of “Violin Book I/II” lessons for adults (a $108 value). For $40, you get one month of "Pre-twinkle I" (for children aged 3–5) or "Pre-twinkle II" (for children aged 6 or older) violin lessons (a $108 value).