SCI Blog

At the Science Center of Iowa, our goal is to be a quality community resource for informal science learning where children, families, school groups and individuals of all ages come to explore science and technology.

To continue the learning outside our building, we bring you the SCI blog! Our knowledgeable staff, along with special guests and local scientists, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at SCI activities, in-depth information about science events and STEM connections in the Des Moines area.

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  • SCI Volunteer Spotlight: Get to Know John Mclaren

    He’s always ready to tell a story about the Science Center of Iowa, but one is his favorite: My favorite toy, of course, is the Cosmic Jukebox. We’re the only science museum in America where a visitor can come in and take a look at the subjects in the Cosmic Jukebox and build an audiovisual program. Other science centers can go that far, but none of them can transfer that selection to a full-dome theater. When I take a group in the Star Theater, I always tell this story — it’s an exclusive at the Science Center of Iowa. It’s marvelous to know we have something so spectacular.

    He had almost no science education, even through his college years: Everything I know about science I learned at the Science Center of Iowa.

    He has one word to describe SCI’s new traveling exhibition, Ultimate Dinosaurs: It’s a ‘wow.’

    He’s dedicated to recruiting SCI volunteers but focuses his attention on one metro community: I’ve been on a campaign for several years now to encourage more of our senior community to come down and spend time at the Science Center of Iowa. I’ve seen grandparents here with their grandchildren who are having even more fun than the children.

    He has experimented with practically every gadget and gizmo at SCI — and even had a hand in building some of them: In those first three weeks before we opened in 2005, I got to put the toys together. I had no idea what was going to be at the Science Center of Iowa. A number of those toys are long-gone, but we have a superb facility for a city the size of Des Moines.

  • Interstellar in 70mm IMAX

    • Friday October 31 2014
    • IMAX

    By: Timothy Alguire, IMAX Projectionist

    "If there’s any film that’s ever really, really demanded a must-see trip to the theater in IMAX, it’s Interstellar." - Matthew McConaughey

    Christopher Nolan is a fan of IMAX and of film in general. So much, in fact, that he prefers film over digital when filming his movies!

    He doesn’t do it out of nostalgia but because film still provides the best quality image. When asked about the IMAX format he says, "The sharpness and the depth of the image, projected onto those enormous screens, is simply the best quality image that has ever been invented."

    With IMAX film having a resolution that is almost 10 times greater than any other format, 70mm IMAX film is best way to see the Interstellar as the director intended. For comparison's sake, a traditional theater’s digital projection system is a 2K or 4K system – that’s 2 to 4 times the clarity of most HD TVs. IMAX film has a resolution of up to 18K.

    Interstellar features more than an hour of footage filmed in the native 15perf/70mm IMAX film format, which means that, during these scenes, the image clarity is unmatched by any other format. These select scenes during key dramatic moments will fill the entire IMAX screen... further enveloping the audience. 

    The image produced by IMAX film, which offers up to 40% more picture than other formats, fills the screen from top to bottom with unmatched brightness and clarity. The IMAX sound system utilizes low-end frequencies, allowing viewers to feel the film as well as hear it. SCI is the only location in Iowa that will be presenting Interstellar in true IMAX fashion; on 15/70mm IMAX film!

    If you’ve been to SCI’s Blank IMAX Dome Theater recently, you know our screen in big. So big in fact that SCI’s Blank IMAX Dome Theater’s screen is the LARGEST SCREEN in the state of Iowa! This enormous screen along with the theater’s laser-aligned digital sound system creates the world’s most immersive experience for Interstellar that can only be experienced in IMAX at SCI.

    If you want to see Interstellar the way Christopher Nolan wants you to see it, do yourself a favor and experience it in 70mm IMAX film at SCI’s Blank IMAX Dome Theater!

    Interstellar: The IMAX Experience in 70mm Film opens at SCI on November 5. Tickets and showtimes at www.sciowa.org/imaxshowtimes