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SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure at Impression 5

SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure recently opened at Impression 5 in Lansing.  Our family ventured out last week to check it out, courtesy of the museum, so we could share our experiences with you.  This exhibit introduces children and families to the wonders of nuclear science. In fact, guests can explore hands-on activities that teach them about the building blocks of the universe in a meaningful and relevant way.

SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure

SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure encourages children and families to explore the world of nuclear science.  The research happening now at Michigan State University’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) inspired this 1,500 square-foot interactive exhibit. Within the space, future scientists can explore atoms, create rare isotopes, observe cosmic rays, as well as learn about new discoveries in nuclear science.

Lansing Science Center

Our experience at SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure

I brought my three girls, ages 10, 7, and 4, as well as another adult. Of course, Naomi (age 4) had very little interest in the exhibit, so it didn’t take long before she and my sister-in-law had wandered off.  Carlyn (age 7) and Rosaleigh (age 10) stayed and explored.  Carlyn was more into the doing of each activity and once she had done each activity a few times she quickly lost interest.  Rosaleigh, however, was very interested in each and every aspect of the exhibit.  We talked about each station and she really learned a lot.

SMASH at Impression 5

Rosaleigh spent most of her time at this Isotope station where she learned about the stable and unstable isotopes of Calcium.  Additionally, we reviewed the concepts of neutrons, protons, and electrons.

SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure

I especially enjoyed the separation model where the balls represent different types of isotopes and the goal is to get just one color in the collection area.

SMASH: A Nuclear Adventure is generously sponsored by TechSmith; Michigan State University’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, which is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science; MSU Federal Credit Union; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


Impression 5 Science Center
200 Museum Drive
Lansing, MI 48933

SUN 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
MON Closed
TUES-SAT10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

FREE with Museum Admission

Admission Fees:
$8.50: Adults, Children 2 and older
$7.00: Seniors, Military members (and immediate family)
FREE: Members, Children 1 & younger
$2.00: Museums for All (up to 6 guests with valid ID and EBT, medicaid, or WIC card)

Reciprocal Admission:
FREE: ASTC Travel Passport 90+ miles
50% OFF: ASTC Travel Passport under 90 miles
50% OFF: ACM Reciprocal Network (up to 6 guests)

Lastly, check out some other great places to visit while you are in Lansing or read more about Impression 5 Science Center.