Ransom Eli Olds was certainly one of Lansing's most prolific citizens. The inventor, entrepreneur, and financier helped revolutionize the automobile industry, specifically through the two companies he founded in the area: Olds Motor Works in 1897 and REO Motor Car Company in 1904.
Impression 5 Science Center provides future Galileos and budding Copernicuses with a vast assortment of hands-on learning opportunities and participatory exhibits. The newly installed Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body will remain displayed until May 15, so young scientists can examine the ins and outs of bodies while learning anatomical trivia, including that Einstein's brain was 10 times bigger than the average mustache. After winding their way through a bevy of exhibits⎯including Throwing Things, which examines energy transference without tranquilizing textbooks⎯explorers can duck into a slime-making workshop to create their own gelatinous blobs. A member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Impression 5 Science Center strives to give guests a chance to learn by doing, acting, and creating, and its enthustiastic staff works to ensure a productive visit for all visitors.
With more than 30 interactive exhibits and activities, Kids 'N' Stuff Children's Museum provides a safe environment for youngsters to exercise their imaginations and bodies. A veritable microcosm of the world lives between the museum's walls. For instance, a grocery exhibit stocked with produce and frozen goods allows children to fill up their carts, run the checkout lane, and refuse expired coupons. An 8'x16' climbing wall challenges youth to literally reach for new heights of achievement, and an art room equipped with an accessible easel and large-handled paintbrushes invites them to figuratively jump for the sky. As a further enticement to the arts, a drama area encourages wee ones to create puppet shows and dress up in costumes.
Kids 'N' Stuff Children's Museum coordinates with area schools to incorporate and add to the themes from the local education curriculum, helping to reinforce the most important lessons kids are learning. Like NASA's recruitment department, this nonprofit's focus is on children aged 10 months to 10 years.
In The Kingman Museum’s newly opened mezzanine exhibit, a polar bear, frozen mid-snarl, presides over his fellow Ice Age beasts. Surrounding this tableau are glass cases filled with fanged skulls of extinct predators, prehistoric pottery, and miniature replicas of ecosystems. The eclectic exhibits lend the room the aura of a cabinet of curiosities, and are indicative of The Kingman Museum’s expansive mission to “provide lifelong learning opportunities in natural history, the universe, and world cultures for all ages for all time.” The scope of the museum reflects the swashbuckling spirit of its founder, Edward Morris Brigham. In the late 1800s, the explorer embarked on expeditions down the Amazon River, hiked across the Alaska tundra, and hopscotched across Hawaiian Islands. He toted back with him exotic specimens, fossils, and cultural artifacts, which now form the core of the museum’s collection. Over the years, the museum has expanded to include a planetarium, which screens nearly two dozen educational films that range from deep-space exploration to quests for the long-lost city of Pittsburgh. Additionally, museum curators inspire young minds with a slew of educational programs.
Since 1928, the Flint Institute of the Arts (FIA) has chronicled the cultural history of the city and today continues to influence its rebirth. In that time, the museum has been designated as a National Treasure by the President's Committee on the Arts in 2002 and received the Governor's Award for Arts and Cultural Organization in 2007. As a world-class cultural institution, the FIA draws over 120,000 visitors a year to an array of exhibitions, film screening, lectures, educational outreach programs, and family events that enlighten art lovers and celebrate Flint's diversity. Within the FIA's 150,000 square feet of space, stunning gallleries of over 8,000 objects, including sculptures, paintings, and artifacts, tell the story of Flint's past and future. Its libraries and art school prepare the next generation of artists. The FIA also features a video gallery, a cafe and gift shop, a great hall for large events, and a theater for films and lectures.
The boundaries of children's imaginations expand like a sun on the horizon at the Flint Children's Museum, a creative learning space with more than 40 exhibits. The show-stopping stations are designed to engage tykes of every learning type, whether they figure out their world by experimenting, watching, hearing, or even climbing. At the Discovery Zone, kids explore environments such as the rainforest or outer space by scampering about kid-sized replicas. They get a lesson in cause and effect at the "How Things Work" section by building bridges, and try their green thumbs at urban horticulture in the Sproutside outdoor learning area. While older kids cavort about, their toddling counterparts, ages three and under, can head to the cozy Tot Spot to play with age-appropriate toys.