Mission Statement:

The mission of Hands On! is to inspire discovery and understanding of science and the arts in a place where learning and fun go hand in hand.

Purpose Statement:

To become the premier regional destination for interactive discovery.

Diversity Statement:

Hands On! welcomes folks of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, and income levels to discover where learning and fun go hand-in-hand!

Hands on Museum - group of school children spending the day at the Gray Fossil Site


Hands On! Discovery Center was founded in 1986 and opened its doors for the first time in 1987. Since then it has more than doubled its exhibit space and welcomed over 2 million visitors! Some basic Hands On! facts are:

  • 70,000 visitors each year from nearly all 50 states and several foreign countries
  • Provides 100,000 programs in the arts, sciences, and humanities
  • Selected by readers of Marquee Magazine as the best museum in the region

We host groups from forty school systems in four states:

Hands on Museum - areas served map
Hands on Museum - colorful and playfully drawn plants