Healthy lives depend on healthy environments. Journey Underground to interact with Virginia geological specimens. Explore our world through the wonder of OmniGlobe. Become an on-air meteorologist in our WDBJ Weather Studio. Create mountains and make the rain fall at our Augmented Reality Sandbox. And get a “hands-on” experience with our Living River & Touch Tank.
Healthy Bodies Gallery
Send foam “blood cells” racing through the Amazing Arteries. See what lies under our skin through a one-of-a-kind “plastinated” human specimen that features actual human organs. Compete against a friend in an amazing state-of-the-art exhibit called MindBall where you move an actual ball to your opponent’s goal using only your mind. Leave with a new appreciation for nature’s most complex being: You!
WonderLab invites guests of all ages to learn the basic elements of coding or programming in an open learning environment. The space includes playful components such as Code-a-pillar, Cubetto, Osmo, and Dot and Dash, in addition to a Scratch workbench, where patrons can program interactive stories, games, and animations. Additionally, the exhibit features an art installation, Racing Electrons, by Jacob R. Smith.
The Butterfly Garden & Bug Zoo (Closed beginning August 15, 2017 for the transition to our new pollinator garden. Will reopen in the fall.)
The Butterfly Garden at the Science Museum of Western Virginia will be closing on August 15, 2017, for the transition from an exotic butterfly habitat to a native pollinator garden. The Hidden Garden will open this fall with a variety of local butterflies and flowering plants.
Beginning on August 15 and continuing throughout the time that the garden is closed for renovations, Science Museum visitors will be offered a butterfly garden rain check with their paid admission so that our guests will be able to return and enjoy our new Hidden Garden this fall.
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! Feel the rumble of recycling steel in Steel Dynamics’ Renewed by Fire. These interactive exhibits feature technologies that were developed or are in use in western Virginia, and enable us to live healthy and more productive lives while being better stewards of our environment.
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. In cooperation with Virginia Tech, we also have Mirrorcraft which puts you inside a Minecraft™ game.
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!
When one of our volunteer attendants is available, you may choose from two dozen science experiments that you can perform with your friends or family in an inviting, safe and controlled environment in our Open Lab.
Your preschooler will love our new multisensory play/research space designed for kids five and younger.
- Hopkins Planetarium
We are working with Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology to reimagine our planetarium. While renovations are ongoing, the planetarium is closed with occasional exceptions for lectures and school groups. Please check our Events Calendar for lectures or our school groups page for classes.