The Portland Science Center is the first of its kind in the state of Maine – an “edu-tainment” venue that incorporates elements of science and history into an engaging exhibition for families to enjoy together. The exhibits change periodically. They explore archaeological artifacts, such as the finds from the uncovered shipwreck Whydah, to marvels of the human body, such as the internationally recognized Body Worlds.
The Portland Science Center first
opened in late 2015. It is located in downtown Portland on the Maine
Wharf. The space consists of more than
15,000 square feet. It was completed
renovated before it opened as a museum just a few years ago. The museum is run
by the Gold Group, a Massachusetts-based company that makes education its
business. The Gold Group promotes and produces educational exhibits throughout
The first exhibit shown at the
center was the internationally-known “Body Worlds” collection which puts human
remains on display. The remains have undergone a procedure called “plastination,” which means that the
body’s fats and fluids were replaced in a bath of liquid polymer, such as silicone rubber,
polyester or epoxy resin. Once the process is complete, the bodies can be
removed from the bath. They are flexible enough to be molded into the position
meant for the display before they harden.
exhibits on display at the Portland Science Center change periodically. After “Body Worlds,” there was another
exhibition devoted to dinosaurs called “Dinosaurs Unearthed.” Other interesting
exhibits showcased robotics and the sinking of the Titanic. Most recently (as of Fall 2017), pirate life and a
collection of items recovered from the Whydah shipwreck were displayed in the
“Real Pirates” exhibition.
The staff at the Portland Science Center
works closely with teachers to create grade-appropriate curricula and
activities to keep their students engaged while they tour the museum. They
prepare an Educator’s Guide related to each exhibit which includes educational
material, quizzes and post-visit tasks for the students to complete after the
field trip (a link to the guide for Real
Pirates is included below).
The Portland Science Center
is open daily, from 10AM to 6PM on Mondays through Thursdays, 10AM to 7PM on
Fridays and Saturdays and 11AM to 6PM on Sundays. During the winter months, the
museum closes on Mondays and Tuesdays. Then, it is open from 10AM to 5PM on Wednesdays
and Thursdays, 10AM to 6PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11AM to 5PM on
Sundays. Always, the exhibition closes one hour after the last admission.