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Discover Oregon’s Science Museums
If you have a passion for the sciences or you are traveling with kids who love hands-on experiments, the Oregon science museums and centers beckon.
The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) has been delighting visitors since 1944. Explore the planetarium and halls filled with interactive exhibits on the natural sciences, technology and industry.
If aviation and aerospace are your passions, start your travels at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, southwest of Portland. It’s home to Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, as well as spacecraft and numerous other civilian and military aircraft. If your travels have you visiting Eugene, the Oregon Air & Space Museum is a “must see” for anyone who is curious about the history of aviation and space flight.
Also in Eugene is the Science Factory Children’s Museum Planetarium. It’s home to a 100-seat planetarium, a computer lab and rooms full of hands-on exhibits. Another great spot for interactive learning is the Science Works Hands-On Museum in Ashland. There are more than 100 interactive exhibits within and outside their walls. In Salem, the noted A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village captures imaginations with their interactive arts, sciences and humanities exhibits.
Oregon Air & Space Museum
Opening in 1991, the Oregon Air and Space Museum in Eugene showcases a variety of aircraft and historical aviation artifacts. Central Oregon schools frequently visit the museum as part of their curriculum, helping the museum eventually receive the Civil Air Patrol National Award for Education.
Featured aircraft include the North American F-86 Sabre, Nieuport 17, Fokker Dr 1 Triplane, Grumman A-6E Intruder, Mikoyan/Gurevich MiG-17 and the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Those who love history and aviation will thoroughly enjoy browsing the space timeline and models, the flight suits, and the gear and aircraft engines.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
Located in McMinnville – found just southwest of the Portland metropolitan area near Newburg – the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is well-known aviation and spacecraft museum. The museum is famous for housing the Spruce Goose – Howard Hughes’ H-4 Hercules aircraft.
Neighboring the Evergreen International Aviation and McMinnville Municipal Airport, the aerospace museum was established in 1991 simply as the Evergreen Museum. And don’t miss the Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark.
Oregon Museum of Science & Industry
Established in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a popular day-trip destination in Portland.
Known locally as OMSI, the museum often hosts school field trips during the school session, families seeking a fun day for the kids, and generally those with an interest in science and engineering.
Explore OMSI and check out the OMNIMAX Theater, a 330-seat venue displaying industry related films.
Head for the Earth Science Hall, the Turbine Hall, or pay a visit to the USS Blueback, the submarine which appeared in the film "The Hunt for Red October."