Our Reopening Plan: Rooted in Science

Welcoming Back the Community: A Plan Rooted in Science

As a hands-on science center, we know that “getting back to normal” looks a little different for us than it does for other attractions in the community. That’s why our reopening plan is rooted in science, allowing audiences to begin reengaging with SCI while keeping the health and safety of our members, visitors, volunteers and staff top-of-mind.

Our plan is rooted in science. It is based on guidance from public health officials, and it follows best practices shared by our peers at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

We are now open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays! (Details below)

Reserve Advance Tickets

Note: Please be sure to review the information below regarding timed ticketing, required face coverings and restricted access to “high-touch” exhibits.

What to expect when you visit

The new SCI experience is modified to limit crowds and reduce the spread of germs. Precautions include timed ticketing, health screenings upon entry and restricted access to “high-touch” exhibits. SCI will be open only on weekends, and advance tickets will be sold in three timeslots to ensure space for distancing and time for enhanced sanitation. 

Hours & Ticketing: 

  • ALL visitors must purchase tickets in advance on the SCI website
    • Members are FREE but still need to reserve tickets in advance 
  • Ticketing Timeslots (both Saturday and Sunday): A limited number of tickets will be sold for each of these two-hour timeslots. Visitors will be checked in at the start of the timeslot and will be asked to exit at the end of the two hours. SCI staff will then clean the facility before the next group is allowed to enter. 
    • 9:00-11:00 am 
    • 11:30 am-1:30 pm 
    • 2:00-4:00 pm 
  • Ticket sales are live now at www.sciowa.org/tickets
    • Members: Log in using your member ID to reserve your free admission. 

Masks (Required): 

Face masks have been shown to reduce the spread of aerosol droplets from individuals who may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Face coverings are required for all visitors ages 5 and up as well as SCI staff. If you don’t have a face mask, one will be provided. 

Health Screenings: 

Before entering the building, all visitors will be asked to show their tickets (printed or on a mobile device), have their temperature checked and answer a few health-related questions.

Exhibit Access: 

As a hands-on science center, many of our exhibit experiences are “high-touch.” In these initial opening phases, we are limiting access to these spaces. Open exhibit experiences will include: 

  • What On Earth? - Come face-to-face with cold-blooded critters, explore Iowa’s native habitats and try your hand at forecasting weather in front of the WHO-HD Weather Studio green screen. (Note: WHO will not be broadcasting from SCI for the time being.) 
  • Why The Sky? - Travel through the cosmos, get up close with spacecraft and discover how we use satellites and probes to explore our solar system.
  • Star Theater planetarium – Immerse yourself in the night sky under the 50-foot, 360-degree domed screen. Two planetarium programs will be offered during each ticketing timeslot.
  • Mini exhibits Nano and Sun Earth Universe
  • All remaining exhibits will be closed at this time

Daily Programs: 

There will be two programs in the Star Theater during each timeslot. View the schedule at www.sciowa.org/calendar

Still have questions?

Check out these resource pages or contact us at 515-274-6868 ext. 222 or email info@sciowa.org

General FAQsMembership FAQsSummer Camp FAQs

Our Next Steps: 

As the summer progresses, we will learn more about the virus and how it’s impacting our community. We also will learn how our audiences interact with our exhibits and programs under these new circumstances. We know that the SCI experience will change and evolve. We’re taking it one step at a time - and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we adjust to this “new normal.”

Ways to Support SCI 

At SCI, our goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors... the ones who will solve the world's next big problems.  

To do this, we depend on admissions, program fees, memberships and contributions. Being closed has had a major financial impact, but we have remained committed to adapting and innovating to continue fulfilling our mission. 

If you are able, we would greatly appreciate your support through a donation or the purchase of an SCI membership. Thank you for your commitment to science and unwavering support of SCI! 

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