Culture Spotlight: Fleet Science Center
Posted on February 10, 2017
Planted in the middle of Balboa Park, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is a leading-edge facility focused on education in the sciences and technology. First funded in 1973 by the Fleet family, the center honors aviation pioneer and science fan, Reuben Hollis Fleet. The Fleet Science Center has become one of the San Diego region’s most popular attractions, and was one of the first of its kind to include interactive science exhibits, a planetarium, and 300-seat IMAX theatre (in fact, the very first IMAX Dome Theater).
The center has a lot to offer to those with a curiosity about science and technology with more than 30,000 square feet of display space. Twelve permanent interactive exhibits range from astronomy to chemistry to biology, along with special monthly exhibits. The children’s play area, named Kids City, is where young minds learn about physics, geometry, and engineering disguised as simple play with cars, balls, and blocks. Other exhibits target older children and teens with information on how water systems work, the power of electricity, and the latest green energy innovations.
For adults, the Fleet Science Center offers many special events and programs. Every Monday features the Sharp Minds Lectures, where local scientists discuss a variety of topics and share their latest research in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. Each Wednesday the center hosts Exploring Ethics, an ongoing series that brings the public and scientists together to explore how science and technology can best serve society. The center’s newest endeavor, Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar, is a program where you can join scientists at some of San Diego’s best bars to taste different beers and ask them anything you want.
The center offers numerous school outreach programs like the Science To Go initiative that brings lectures and hands-on experiences into the classroom. It also offers classes that supplement units of study that work towards meeting the California Science Content Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Science assemblies, like the popular Superhero Science, help educate children by using exciting live science shows. Workshops, learning labs, and films are just the tip of the iceberg of what else is available.
Current exhibits for February include Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery, an interactive and very clever murder-mystery that will test your powers of observation and deductive reasoning, and So Moved: The Art and Science of Motion, which explores motion and movement as presented by San Diego contemporary artists. 619.238.1233, www.rhfleet.org Ryan Thomas