The center, which first opened in 1993 as New Jersey's first major state science museum, has science exhibits, the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, numerous educational resources, and the original Hoberman sphere, a silver, computer-driven engineering artwork designed by Chuck Hoberman.
Liberty Science Center completed a 22-month, $109 million expansion and renewal project on July 19, 2007. The expansion added 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) to the facility, bringing it to nearly 300,000 square feet (28,000 m2). However, the amount of exhibit space slightly decreased with the expansion as all the new space added is open space such as queue lines.
In December 2017, the Science Center opened the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, a 400-seat facility with a dome 100 feet (30 m) in diameter and an 89-foot (27 m) diameter screen, named for the benefactor who contributed $5 million towards the cost of construction. Larger than New York City's Hayden Planetarium, at its opening it was the largest such planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and the world's fourth largest.
The Infinity Climber climbing course
Liberty Science Center's permanent exhibitions include:
Skyscraper! Achievement and Impact – The largest exhibition on the subject of skyscrapers in the world – with artifacts from the World Trade Center, a walk along an I-beam two stories above the exhibition floor, an earthquake-shake table, a glass-Schindler 400A mid-rise Traction elevator, which is open to show how the elevator moves, the machine room, and the pit, and much more.
Communication explores humancommunication in four areas—body and language; symbols, signs, and writing; print, audio, and video; and signals and networks. Here you can also do Language Karaoke, where you are taught to say phrases in a new language: Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, or Cockney.
Infection Connection – Helps guests understand how individual actions may affect global health issues. You may ride the IC Express, which shows a film about different types of infectious diseases.
I Explore – An age-restricted area, where guests under age six and their caregivers can explore aspects of the world around them through water play, a microscope, a Luckey Climber climbing structure, a street scape, and a rock xylophone – made from hanging rocks that ring like bells when struck.
Wildlife Challenge is a seasonal outdoor exhibit in which guests can take part in a variety of physical activities, designed to simulate different animals' environments. Activities include balance beams, and a zip line accessible only to guests that can hold on to a rope for at least ten seconds.
Rubik's Cube exhibition - Beyond Rubik's Cube opened to the public on April 26, 2014 and has toured to other museums around the world. The exhibition celebrates the Cube's 40th anniversary, and features artifacts and exhibits that trace the history of the Cube and mark the massive cultural influence it continues to have on popular culture today.
Liberty Science Center CEO, Paul Hoffman, speedcuber Anthony Brooks, Budapest inventor Erno Rubik, NJ Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, US Senator Robert Menendez, and Hungarian President Janos Ader at the opening of the Beyond Rubik's Cube museum exhibition, April 25, 2014
The first exhibit since the center re-opened was Islamic Science Re-Discovered.
Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear let guests see how they would react when they were exposed to creepy animals, loud noises, electric shock and the fear of falling. The exhibit explored why their bodies react the way they do.
"Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age" used video installations, hands-on interactive displays, life-sized models and fossils to teach more about the extinct mammals. The exhibit showcased Lyuba, the world's best-preserved woolly mammoth specimen.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition featured over 100 authentic artifacts from the Titanic, which were set within replicas of cabins and other areas of the ship. The exhibit also allowed visitors to touch an "iceberg" to simulate how cold the water was when the ship sank.
Jennifer Chalsty Center for Science Learning and Teaching
In July 2007, the Jennifer Chalsty Center for Science Learning and Teaching opened. It is a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) facility extending over the entire former Invention Floor of Liberty Science Center, with six laboratories, a 150-seat theater, and other resources for teachers and students. Educators can upgrade science teaching skills and find peers to help strengthen science instruction in the classroom, while students can participate in intense, multi-day or single hour programs to ignite interest and skills in science exploration.
LSC is in negotiation with Jersey City to receive for a nominal fee city-owned land (a former car pound) which would be developed as an educational and residential area called Sci Tech Scity. Sci Tech Scity is expected to attract top scientists and researchers from around the world, while also educating Jersey City's next generation of leaders in this field. This new project will include a biotech lab, a coding lab, a technology business incubator, and a K–12 STEM-focused public school.
^Barron, James. "Planetarium Opens in New Jersey, Ushering in a New Kind of Star Wars", The New York Times, December 6, 2017. Accessed December 6, 2017. "That may or may not explain the debut of the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world. It opens this week in Jersey City. The top scientist responsible for it, Paul Hoffman, the president and chief executive officer of the Liberty Science Center, boasted that it was so large that the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, the starry destination for generations of middle-school field trippers, would fit inside with room to spare."
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