5th Floor Galleries

Hidden Garden

The Butterfly Garden at the Science Museum of Western Virginia has transitioned from an exotic butterfly habitat to now focus on food science and agriculture. The museum’s Hidden Garden will give visitors the chance to explore different food sources from around the world and understand more about how different environmental factors can help or hinder their growth. We give you the tools to be able to grow healthy and edible produce in your own home or garden.

The goal of this exhibit is to inspire people to look beyond just the pollinators that help an ecosystem, and instead see the entire system work as a whole.

Toy Joy

Our newest exhibit features larger than life versions of toys and modern amusements, inviting patrons of all ages to PLAY! You’ll find huge Lego™-style blocks, a Colossal Kaleidoscope, and a giant Light Bright, as well as the beautiful Aurora Vortex. Bring your favorite Matchbox™-style car and try it on our moveable tracks at the Roanoke Raceway.

How It Works Gallery

Explore the scientific method of engineering with our larger-than-life foam blocks, fantastic paper airplane launchers, and an amazing gravity-driven obstacle course in Design It! Build It! Test It! Investigate the many ways physics affects our world with a wide variety of hands-on exhibits.

Maker Lab

Maker Lab is a self-guided creation space within the museum. We encourage all visitors to build, create, imagine, and innovate with the wide variety of supplies provided. Maker Lab features a number of recycled and craft supplies which can be used to explore ideas as well as a Lego™ wall, a gear wall, and some challenges to get you started. In Maker Lab, we believe that people learn best by doing and we want to see what you can create!

The Bubble

Your preschooler will love our new multisensory play/research space designed for kids five and younger. This space features a wide variety of toys, games, and books with an amazing array of spaces to crawl, slide, and experience (plus some inviting spots for grown ups to relax). There are also opportunities for dramatic play, experimentation, and plenty of motor skills practice for little hands.

Virginia Tech Featured Projects


Mirrorcraft – Ico Bukvic – Mirrorcraft is an interactive exhibit that allows the user to see his or her mirror image in the version of a Minecraft avatar. A Kinect will allow the avatar to mirror the user’s body and facial movements.

Visit the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology for more information.