The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
In Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Museum of Scientific and Industry is a science and technology museum. It has three auditoriums, a large-screen theatre, a planetarium, and exhibition halls featuring a variety of hands-on permanent exhibitions on natural sciences, industry, and technology.
OMSI is one of the nation’s major science museums, having an international reputation for science education. It was founded in 1944. Our goal is to pique students’ interest in science by providing interesting science learning opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds. We encourage experimentation and the discussion of ideas, as well as assisting our community in making educated decisions.
Through hands-on, high-quality learning experiences in the museum, at our world-class resident camps, and as part of the country’s biggest statewide science education program, we are dedicated to helping people gain the confidence and skills they need for whatever the future brings.
OMSI is a self-supporting, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that relies on admissions, memberships, and donations to fund its educational goal, programming, and exhibit creation. With the inauguration of the City Hall Museum in 1896, OMSI began with the exhibition of Oregon’s rich natural resources. However, due to the Great Depression and World War II, support for the museum didn’t truly take off until the mid-1940s. In his home on NE Hassalo Street, businessman Ralph Lloyd sponsored the temporary “Oregon Museum of Science and Industry,” which featured the Northwest’s first public planetarium and a 20-minute trip to the heavens.
In 1955, with yearly attendance exceeding 25,000 and the house set to be demolished, the City Council stepped forward to lease land in Washington Park to OMSI for one dollar per year. Over 400 volunteer union brick layers and hod carriers poured 102,000 bricks in one day in the spirit of pioneer barn-raisings, and on June 7, 1958, the idea of a dedicated, hands-on science museum became a reality. By the mid-1980s, OMSI’s popularity had outgrown its facility six times over, and a new group of community leaders launched a $32 million campaign to build a state-of-the-art science center, culminating in a landmark donation of an 18.5-acre site that once housed a historic sawdust-fired power generation plant from longtime supporter, Portland General Electric. The USS Blueback, the final non-nuclear powered submarine built by the US Navy, was added just two years later when the new 219,000 square-foot facilities debuted on October 24, 1992. Visit the Waterfront Park
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