About Us

Our Mission and Vision

The Mission of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is to inspire people to discover the wonder of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Our Vision is to be the leader in imaginative and interactive learning experiences.

Annual Reports and Financials

We strive to inspire people to discover the wonder of science, technology, math, art, and engineering. Our Vision is to be the leader in imaginative and interactive learning experiences.  Our annual report highlights some of the many ways we acheive these goals.

2013 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report

990 for Fiscal Year 2012-13

Cultural Data Project

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The Trustees of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Emily Palacios, Chair Attorney, Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone, PLC
David Esau, Vice Chair Architect, Cornerstone Design, Inc.
Christine Sing, CPA, Treasurer Principal, Rehmann
Megan Torrance, Secretary President, Torrance Learning
Michael Cole, Member at Large Technology Industry Group President, Bank of Ann Arbor
William Gosling, Member at Large University Librarian Emeritus, University of Michigan
Michelle Crumm Immediate Past Chair CEO/Owner Present Value
Gina Finney Aernnova Engineering
Cynthia L. Gardner Senior Vice President/Regional Manager, PNC Bank
Nicholas Liu Student, Pioneer High School
Donald Loppnow Professor, Eastern Michigan University
Tom McKarns President, ECO PHYSICS, INC.
Timothy McKay Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Michigan
Anne Marsan Managing Partner, Atomic Object
Milan Patel Student, Skyline High School
Henry Pollack Professor Emeritus of Geophysics, University of Michigan
Thomas Root, Jr. President, Owner - Zingerman's Mail Order
Richard Sheridan CEO, Chief Storyteller, Menlo Innovations LLC
William Wood Management Consultant
Karl Zinn  Research Scientist Emeritus, Information Technology, University of Michigan

 

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The Directors of the Ann Arbor-Hands-On Museum

Mel Drumm President & Executive Director
Cory Joyrich Senior Director of Advancement
Charles Stout Director of Exhibits
John Bowditch Director of Exhibits Emeritus
Carol Knauss Director of Operations
Peggy Pietras Director of Finance
Ann Hernandez Director of Programs
Gerry Diepenhorst Director of Facilities

 

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The Staff of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Kaila Barr Membership & Birthday Party Manager
Brian Carlson Exhibit Tech
Alice Klute Retail and Web Manager
Jan Klute Registration Coordinator
Robin Little Grants Manager
Sam McLaren Outreach Programs Manager
Ari Morris Assistant Director of Operations
Jayne Powers General Museum Educator
Andy Powrie Facility & Exhibit Tech
Andrea Reynolds Outreach Workshops Manager
Corrina Strecker Distance Learning Manager
Rachel Szymanski Development Associate
Sandy Toivonen Associate Business Manager
Nichole Wright Public Programs & Volunteer Manager

 

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The History of the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum

In 1978, with approval from the City of Ann Arbor, Cynthia Yao and a group of devoted volunteers began converting the old brick firehouse into an interactive, hands-on museum for children of all ages. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum opened in 1982 with 25 exhibits on 2 floors, 2 staff person and 10 volunteers.

During the Museum’s first year of operation, it welcomed 25,000 guests. The visitors’ interest and enthusiasm propelled the Museum to accelerate expansion plans. Four years later the museum opened the third and fourth floors of the firehouse with the help of a Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant. In 1993, the Museum purchased several adjoining buildings and began a $6.5 million Capital Campaign to fund building and program expansions. Five separate grants, received over several years, from the National Science Foundation totaling $1.7 million, funded the creation of new exhibits and the expanded facility. Through many generous gifts the Museum completed its renovations and introduced its latest facility in October 1999.

The Museum was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers and continues to thrive because of their endless energy and support. Over 100 volunteers donate their time directing visitors, answering questions, building and restoring exhibits and conducting intriguing experiments on the Museum floor for our guests.

Visitors can enjoy more than 250 interactive exhibits, each with a different focus to bring physics, geology, math, music and more to life. Figure out How Things Work from generating tornados to pumping water with an Archimedes screw. Kids four and under can explore water and play in a mini fire engine in the Preschool Gallery. Stop in and see the full size interactive Huron Valley Ambulance in the All About You gallery and don’t miss a spectacular immersive representation of Michigan in fall in the Michigan Nature room. Lights and Optics invites you to strum a string-less harp. Recollections pulls you in and makes you the exhibit on an interactive video screen. MediaWorks lets kids see themselves as news anchors in a working CTN television studio.

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Auction Item Requests

The Museum is proud to give back to the community that supports our mission. In order to request a donated item, please fill out and submit this form. Once your request is received, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted within two weeks as to our decision. We are only able to consider fundraising events for schools and parent-teacher organizations.

If we are able to donate to your event, we will email you a special PDF file that includes four admission passes to the Museum. Please print out the PDF for your fundraiser event.  Only printed tickets can be redeemed at the admissions desk.

Please note that we receive hundreds of requests for donated items and are only able to give one set of passes to an organization per 12-month period.

 

 

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2012-2017 Strategic Plan

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Privacy Statement

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum respects the privacy interests of our website users. This Privacy Statement describes the types of personal information that we collect, the uses we make of that information and how you can access, correct and request deletion of any personal identifying information that you choose to give us.

Information We Collect

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum does not collect any personally identifying information about visitors to this website, such as your name, address or email address, unless such information is provided by the individual. However, certain non-personal information is recorded by the standard operation of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Internet servers. We may ask you for personally identifying information if you contact us through our website or purchase a membership or to make purchases from our online store. This information may include your first and last name, mailing address, email address, telephone number and payment information (credit card number and expiration date).

Use of Your Information

Your personally identifying information is used solely for billing purposes and to provide membership services (including providing the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum News and special event notification). You may opt out of receiving special notifications at the time of purchasing your membership or store merchandise, or upon receipt of any such special notifications. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum does not share personally identifying information or individual purchase information with any other businesses or individuals. We may use your personally identifying information, such as your email address, to contact you if we have trouble processing an order, to confirm receipt of your membership or for other similar purposes. We may use aggregated information, which does not identify you personally, for advertising, marketing, promotional and other business purposes.

Click here for Photo Release for Facebook Photo Contest.

Cookies

We make use of “cookies,” which are small sets of information stored onto your computer in connection with your use of our website. We use cookies to store temporary individual user information concerning your use of this site. We may also use information gathered by cookies to measure certain traffic patterns on our website or for other similar purposes. A user does not need to have the cookie function of their browser turned on in order to use this website. If you use a link from this site to another site, or if you arrived at our site through a link from another site, it is also possible that these other sites may place a cookie or other identifier on your computer. We do not control and are not responsible for the use of cookies or other identifiers by anyone except the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.

Access, Correction and Deletion

If you want to see the personal information we have collected about you from this site or if you believe any information we have is incorrect and you wish to correct it, please write to us at the address given at the end of this Privacy Statement. If we change or delete information in response to your request, we will not then continue to use it; however, some residual information may remain in backup records or records of deletions.

Security

We use efforts consistent with sound industry practice, to safeguard the confidentiality of your personally identifying information. This website takes every precaution to protect our users' information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and off-line. When our registration/order form asks users to enter sensitive information (such as credit card number), that information is encrypted and protected. While on a secure page, such as our order form, the lock icon on the bottom of Web browsers such as Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer becomes locked, as opposed to un-locked, or open, when you are just "surfing." Given the nature of the Internet, however, we cannot ensure complete security and we are not responsible for any breach of security or for the actions of any person or entity other than the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Your personally identifying information may be disclosed if we are compelled by law or legal process to disclose it. We will make commercially reasonable efforts to see that your information is treated in compliance with this Privacy Statement.

Children

Children under 13 should not send any information about themselves to us, including information like your name, address or email address until a parent or guardian has first given permission. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum takes this principle seriously and will not accept orders or purchases from persons who have not verified their age.

Membership & Ticket Purchases & Refunds

Memberships are non-transferable and non-refundable. Tickets to events are non-refundable.

Hands-On Store Purchases and Refunds

At the Hands-On Store, we stand behind our products, and we genuinely hope you enjoy your purchase. If for any reason you are not satisfied with a product you may return the product to us within 30 days. Returned merchandise must be unused and returned in original packaging. Please include a copy of your sales receipt with your shipment, and indicate whether you would prefer a refund or an exchange of the item. Return shipping costs will be paid by the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in the event of damaged or defective merchandise only. Returns should be made to the address at the end of this Privacy Statement.

Policy Changes and Website Maintenance

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum may, from time to time, determine that changes in its policies, including this Privacy Statement, are prudent. If any such changes are made, they will be posted on this website. You should review the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Privacy Statement and other policies posted on this site for potential changes when you return to the site for future visits.

 

If you experience problems with the Museum’s website, your membership or the Museum’s services, or if you have any questions or comments, please contact us at: 734.995.5439 or 220 East Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, or use our Contact Us Form.

 

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Resources for Media Professionals

Welcome to our Press Room. Find out more about the Museum and what's going on here by clicking one of the links below.

Facts & Figures

Museum's facts sheet:

  • Over 4.5 million people have visited the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum since 1982
  • The Museum has become a regional destination drawing over 60 percent of its visitors from outside the Ann Arbor area
  • The Museum has set new attendance records for seven out of the last eight years. We average 250,000 visitors annually
  • Membership is greater than 5,330 families - a new record!
  • 34,000 students visit annually with school and community groups
  • Almost 12,500 students annually enjoy our ScienceWorks Labs as part of their school visits
  • Distance Learning programs reach students in over 30 states, 5 Canadian provinces and 3 distant countries, including Australia
  • Outreach programming is delivered throughout Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula
  • Over 7,000 people annually visit the Museum with our birthday party program
  • After Hours Rentals immerse more than 1200 people in a fun, science environment annually
  • Our exhibits are unique. Most of our collection has been created in-house by our exhibits team working in collaboration with scientists, researchers, local businesses, regional research and academic communities.
  • Versions of our exhibits have traveled to museums across the country.
  • Custom exhibits designed and fabricated by the Museum and our partners may be found in museums, libraries and in interactive learning centers across the country.
  • The Museum occupies over 40,000 square feet in downtown Ann Arbor
  • The Detroit Free Press named us the Best Museum in 2003.
  • The Museum has received national recognition by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Association of Science and Technology Centers and from CILC, the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC).
  • The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is consistently rated the Best Kids’ Activity in the annual “Best of Ann Arbor” list
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Visit Us

734.995.5439
220 E. Ann St. 
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Museum Hours:

Monday: 10 - 5
Tuesday: 9 - 5
Wednesday: 10 - 5
Thursday: 10 - 8
Friday: 10 - 5
Saturday:  10 - 5
Sunday: Noon - 5

Click here for Holiday hours

Download our iOS
App for event info,
hours, and more!

Admission:
$12 for Adults and Children
$5 after 5pm on Thurs only
Free for Babies 0-23 months