Impression 5 Science Center

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Impression 5 Science Center
Impression 5 Science Center Museum Lansing, Michigan.jpg
Impression 5 Science Center entrance
Impression 5 Science Center is located in Michigan
Impression 5 Science Center
Location within Michigan
Established 1972
Location 200 Museum Drive
Lansing, Michigan
Coordinates 42°43′56″N 84°32′55″W / 42.73232°N 84.54861°W / 42.73232; -84.54861
Type Science museum,
Children's museum
Director Erik Larson
Public transit access CATA

The Impression 5 Science Center, is a science museum located in downtown Lansing, Michigan. Formerly known as the Impression 5 Museum, the center is located in a historic wagon works factory on the Grand River.[1] The name, Impression 5, refers to the five senses.[2] The neighboring Riverwalk Theatre and Michigan Museum of Surveying also occupy buildings of the former factory.


The Impression 5 Science Center was founded by Marilynne Eichinger (1939- )in her basement in Lansing, Michigan, in 1972. Eichinger graduated with a BA in sociology/anthropology from Boston University and a MA in counseling psychology from Michigan State University. As a mother of five she was influenced by the Montessori education her children received as well as the writings of Jean Piaget and Howard Gardner. Much of her life was surrounded by family and friends involved in physics and engineering and Eichinger became interested in developing a way to explain scientific principles that appeared so complex in a way that the general public could understand. She promoted the design and development of hands-on exhibits that challenged visitors thinking processes. The initial goal of Impression 5 was to develop fun, educational exhibits that focused on the five senses. A variety of approaches was offered to take into account individual learning styles.

The museum's first headquarters were in Marble School, East Lansing where volunteers housed displays and traveled to schools and shopping malls putting on small science exhibitions. In 1973 a 15,000 sq.ft warehouse was rented and filled with a variety of interactive displays. Overtime the museum was able to attract national attention along with funding for permanent and traveling exhibitions. It was not long before the museum ran out of space in the small warehouse. Impression 5 moved into its current 80,000 square foot building located on Museum Drive in downtown Lansing in 1982. It now offers classes, camps, teacher training workshops and traveling school programs that complement the exhibitions within its building. In 1994 the Impression 5 Museum changed its name to the current, Impression 5 Science Center.[2]

In July 2010 Impression 5 was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation to open an Emerging Media and Technology Lab. The lab allows visitors to virtually explore various science topics.[3]


Past Exhibits

  • Connecting With Chemistry
  • Don't Make Me Sick!
  • Heart Works
  • On the Air!

Current Exhibits

  • Build Zone
  • Electricity & Magnetism
  • First Impression Room
  • Light & Color
  • Make Your Own Music
  • MI Nature
  • Pop! (used to be called Bubble Room)
  • Simple Machines
  • Throwing Things
  • Water Room[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lansing, Michigan Museums,, retrieved 2010-Aug-12
  2. ^ a b History of Impression 5, Impression 5 Science Center, retrieved 2010-Aug-12
  3. ^ Green, Alisha. Two grants to fuel research, learning in science, Lansing State Journal,, July 28, 2010, retrieved 2010-Aug-12
  4. ^ Exhibits, Impression 5 Science Center, retrieved 2010-Aug-12

External links[edit]