The Science Museum of Minnesota features 70,000 square feet of exhibitions, including a temporary exhibit gallery and five permanent galleries. It offers numerous interactive exhibits, including the Mississippi River Gallery, the Human Body Gallery, the Cell Lab, the Collections Gallery, the Experiment Gallery, the Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery, Big Back Yard, the Collectors Corner, and Science Buzz. The museum’s main areas of focus are archaeology, ethnology, mammalogy, entomology, ornithology, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, river and stream ecology, and watershed biology. The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for students, teachers, and visitors of all ages. A highlight of the museum is the Imax Convertible Dome Omnitheater, which presents films about science; it is the only such theater in the country.
In 1906, the St. Paul Institute of Science and Letters Museum was founded and became the Science Museum of Minnesota in 1907. The museum opened in its new riverfront building in December of 1999. The museum has worked to provide a large number of hands-on exhibits and is home to the only convertible IMAX dome Omnitheater in the United States. The museum not only displays IMAX movies, but the staff and their collaborators have become the leading producer of science-related IMAX films. Researchers at the museum also work with museum experts and educators to create exhibits that are used at other science museums around the country.