Work took us to space!  Or, more accurately, the Space Exhibit at OMSI.  But first, we got a backstage tour of OMSI, which was awesome.

The iconic lettersIMG_5675

See that staff only sign?  We’re going behind that door!IMG_5676

It was really interesting to learn how the exhibits are built and stored.  Here, our guide stands in front of a poster with principals such as font size and how to make sure people using wheelchairs can have full access.IMG_5678

Details from the offices of the design area.  I loved the house-made cubicle dividers.IMG_5679 IMG_5680

Here are some exhibits that have been recovered from storage.  The team has plans to update the graphics to make them more accessible for girls and for native Spanish speakers. (Also to make them not quite so 80s.)


One principle of design for a museum catering to children is “never underestimate the power of an eight-year-old girl.”  Apparently children en mass can really tear apart structures, so things must be over-designed for heavy use.  The design team attributes this destruction to kids not knowing their own power.  “Adults could never break something, because they know they can’t.  Kids don’t know that and so they can.”

Scrap wood detail.IMG_5682 IMG_5683

I loved the bins for various things.IMG_5684 IMG_5685

OMSI sends exhibits around the country and also has traveling presentations.  Thus, things can be neatly packaged.IMG_5686

So many fun things were hanging, and hanging out.IMG_5687 IMG_5688 IMG_5689

Apparently no one knows where this pterodactyl came from.  It’s just always been there.IMG_5690 IMG_5691

They had some really great old machines, too.IMG_5692 IMG_5693

Bigger exhibits are shipped in boxes on these carts.IMG_5694 IMG_5695 IMG_5696 IMG_5699

Another really awesome house-made item.IMG_5701

Getting our picture taken in front of the OMSI sign.IMG_5702 IMG_5703

This shake house has been part of OMSI for a very long time.  I went in it as a child, back when OMSI was located by the zoo.  It repeatedly played a snippet of Carol King’s “I feel the earth move”.  Apparently, it did this until just a few years ago.IMG_5704

Puzzling through some puzzles.IMG_5705

You can see some of the female friendlier colors that were incorporated into this exhibit.  The informational panels are also printed in both Spanish and English.IMG_5706 IMG_5707

Really fun pipes.IMG_5708 IMG_5709

And then we went to space.  My co-worker with her head in an astronaut suit.IMG_5711

And me too.  That’s as close to a space suit as I will ever get.IMG_5713

Real-time cloud cover!IMG_5714

Part of space was a simulation of what it’s like to be in a gravity-free environment in the international space station.  You stand, the space station spins around you.  A guy watches you closely to make sure you don’t pass out.IMG_5715 IMG_5716 IMG_5717

It took me about fifteen minutes to recover my equilibrium.  Space is not for me.

4 thoughts on “DHM FUN at OMSI”

  1. So so fun! You know, I have never been there. Somehow I have missed it every time I have visited in both my youth and adulthood.

    And WAH LAH! Done! Commenting caught up. Tomorrow I will check in on Pike Schemes comments and get back to you!

  2. Wow, I found your behind-the-scenes look far more interesting than I find OMSI itself! Except I would like to try the gravity-free simulator. It’s as close as I would willingly get to outer space. I’m very happy to keep my feet on terra firma.

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