Gateway to Science

Explore a wide range of engaging activities and experiences for visitors of all ages interested in learning about science, history, and culture

North Dakota's museums and science and discovery centers provide a diverse array of experiences that inspire curiosity, spark creativity, and foster a deeper appreciation for the world around us. Whether you're interested in science, technology, history, or art, there's something for everyone to enjoy at these captivating destinations. From delving into the state's rich history to exploring the wonders of science and technology, these attractions provide immersive experiences that educate, entertain, and inspire visitors. Some common attractions and activities you can find at these destinations include:

  1. Interactive Exhibits: Many offer hands-on exhibits that allow visitors to explore scientific principles and phenomena through interactive displays and demonstrations. These exhibits often cover a variety of topics, including physics, biology, astronomy, and geology.
  2. Educational Programs: Science centers and museums frequently offer educational programs and workshops designed to enhance visitors' understanding of science and technology. These programs may include guided tours, STEM workshops, science camps for children, and lectures by experts in various fields.
  3. Special Events: Throughout the year they host special events and exhibitions that celebrate specific themes or topics. These events may include science festivals, art installations, cultural celebrations, and temporary exhibits featuring rare artifacts or specimens.
  4. Outdoor Exploration: In addition to the many indoor exhibits, some science centers and museums also offer outdoor spaces where visitors can explore nature, gardens, and interactive outdoor exhibits. These areas may include walking trails, observation decks, and wildlife habitats that provide opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration.
  5. Planetarium Show: Each semester Valley City State University students produce a new show to be used in North Dakota’s only Planetarium. These shows range from basic astronomy to exploring how Lewis and Clark used the night sky to aid in their exploration of North America, and often feature stunning visuals and informative narration that bring the wonders of the universe to life.

Some of North Dakota’s Notable Museums and Science Centers

For those with a passion for all things scientific, North Dakota’s Gateway to Science (Bismarck) is a must-visit destination offering hands-on exhibits and engaging activities that cover a wide array of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) topics.

The North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum (Bismarck) is the largest museum in North Dakota and offers visitors a comprehensive look at the state's natural and cultural history, and features exhibits on topics such as paleontology, archaeology, Native American history, pioneer life, and more.

The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (Washburn) provides visitors with an in-depth look at the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition and its impact on the region. Through immersive exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs, visitors can trace the epic journey of the Corps of Discovery as they ventured across the uncharted territories of North Dakota and the American West.

The Minot Discovery Center (Minot) is a dynamic hub of interactive learning and exploration for visitors of all ages. This family-friendly destination offers a wide range of exhibits and activities designed to inspire curiosity and creativity in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM).

The Plains Art Museum (Fargo), while not exclusively a science center, often hosts exhibitions and programs that explore the intersection of art and science and visitors can enjoy contemporary art installations, workshops, and educational events that encourage creative thinking and exploration.

Magic City Discovery Center
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