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The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (AAHOM) has over 250 interactive exhibits on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. AAHOM exhibits are focused on informal sensory learning through touching, exploration, and discovery. The museum is geared towards children in pre-K through eighth grade, but with four floors occupying 40,000 square feet, all ages can find something to enjoy. AAHOM opened in 1982 in the historic 1882 Ann Arbor Central Fire Station and added several expansions in the 1990s. Over 5.5 million people have visited AAHOM since its opening.

  • The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
  • The museum opened in the Central Fire Station in 1982, 100 years after it was built.
  • The H2Oh! exhibit is wildly popular at the museum
  • The H2Oh! Exhibit
  • Children love to play in the water tables at the Water Gallery
  • The Liquid Galaxy Exhibit, sponsored by Google Earth
  • The Preschool Gallery is specially designed for visitors 4 years and younger
  • Kids work on the light tables
  • The Legacy Gallery features an exhibit on how the internet works
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy has been among the guest speakers at the museum
  • Educational programs are integral to the museum's mission to teach STEM field concepts

AAHOM’s mission is “to inspire people to discover the wonder of science, technology, engineering, art, and math” and its vision is “to be the leader in imaginative and interactive learning experiences.” The museum employs almost 60 staff members and over 400 volunteers.1 AAHOM’s membership includes 7,700 families. Around 57% of its visitors are from outside of the county where it is located, making it a regional destination. In AAHOM’s 2015 Financial Report, it reported a $2.67 million operating budget.1

AAHOM’s has 250 exhibits over four full floors. The first floor concourse includes some of the most popular exhibits, such as the Water Gallery, Building in a Building, Explore Your World, and Block Party.  The Preschool Gallery is specially designed for the youngest visitors, age four and under, and includes a dress-up space, water tables, and a child-size fire engine. The Legacy Gallery demonstrates basic mechanics all the way up to advanced technology. All About You explores the human body and healthy lifestyles. Visitors can learn about the biology and geology of the Great Lakes region in the Michigan Nature Gallery.2

Educational programs and outreach events are integral to the museum’s mission. AAHOM offers school classroom and auditorium workshops, as well as summer camps, scout programs, and birthday party activities. The museum provides reduced admission to low-income schools and videoconferencing activities around the world through its Distance Learning programs. Family Fun Nights showcase a variety of science and math activities that are intended to engage all members of the family. The ScienceWorks programs offer labs on topics like music, physics, water, and fossils for ages three to fourteen. The Kids in the Kitchen program aims to teach children healthy eating habits. The museum has also recently began creating popular adult-only events such as Pint at the Museum and a 3-D printing design workshop.3

1. "About Us." Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Official Website. Accessed August 17, 2016. 2. "Exhibits." Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Official Website. Accessed August 17, 2016. 3. "Programs and Outreach." Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Official Website. Accessed August 17, 2016.