McWane Science Center
The McWane Science Center, located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, is a science museum and research archive. The center got its name from McWane Inc, a privately owned company that is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of iron waterworks and plumbing products. This is one of the spots to visit in Birmingham.
History of The McWane Science Center
Opened to the public in 1998, the McWane science center was a merger of Discovery Place and Red Mountain Museum. The center is currently housed in the historic and refurbished Loveman’s department store building. The McWane Science Center is the centerpiece of Birmingham, Alabama’s downtown revitalization.
The facility features a state-of-the-art science center, an aquarium, and a 280-seat IMAX Dome Theater. It consists of four floors of interactive exhibits that celebrate science and wonder. On the lower level, there is The World of Water Aquarium that showcases more than 50 species of marine and freshwater aquatic life. There are display tanks in the aquarium like the Cahaba River Tank, Lake Tank, and Coral Reef Tank. There is also a large tank with different species of sharks and rays and different displays about water pollution.
On the first floor, there are amazing interactive exhibits where guests can see and experience science. These exhibits include ScienceQuest, Bubble Room, and VR Transporter. The first floor also houses 108-seat Rushton Science Theater which features a Tesla coil and a Van de Graff generator.
The Alabama Collections Center and the Itty Bitty Magic City exhibit are the more popular areas on the second floor. The collections center is the home of more than 500,000 items from the former Red Mountain Museum. It also houses precious minerals, fossils, and Native American artifacts, the most noteworthy among them is the amazing collection of dinosaurs; the Appalachiosaurus, and the Basilosaurus cetoides (an 80-foot fossil whale). The Itty Bitty Magic City is an exhibit for smaller children that features a climbing structure, a water play area, an area for toddlers specifically, and an area with smaller versions of common buildings in a city. These model buildings were made to help younger children learn skills they will need later on or to connect with their parents.
The third floor is home to the Art & Tech Gallery, where science meets art.
When can you visit the center
Opening hours at the center are from 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesdays to Fridays, 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays, and 12 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.
Situated at 200 19th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203, United States, the museum proves that science and technology can be a really beautiful thing!
See the next in this series: Vulcan Park and Museum
See the previous in this series: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute