The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (AAHOM) is a leader in interactive learning experiences and inspires people to discover the wonder of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEaM). Our focus is on pre-K through 8th grade minds, but the Museum is a destination for more than 250,000 visitors of all ages each year.
AAHOM opened in 1982 in an historic firehouse in downtown Ann Arbor and quickly became the cornerstone of informal science education in the community. From its inception, the Museum has worked with scientists, artists, designers, engineers, and innovators to create simple, effective science exhibits that can be understood by children, their families, and audiences of all ages. Following several expansions, AAHOM now occupies 40,000 square feet, and offers 250+ interactive exhibits designed to promote science discovery and literacy.
Over five million visitors have visited AAHOM since it opened its doors, making it one of the most popular science centers in Michigan. AAHOM’s reputation is built on its visionary planning and implementation of interactive STEaM-based exhibits; groundbreaking educational programs delivered to 47 counties throughout the state, 44 states across the country, and countries aroud the world; and an exceptional ability to establish and maintain strong collaborative bonds with public and private organizations.
Our education programs align with State of Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In 2014, AAHOM’s Outreach and Distance Learning programs served 52,943 people statewide, including the U.P. In addition to off-site hands-on programs, our temporary, traveling exhibits have been displayed in libraries, community centers, and shopping malls throughout the state.
Because AAHOM is dedicated to ensuring that our doors are open to all children, regardless of ability to pay admission charges, we offer discounted or free admission to Title One schools. The Discover Science Assistance Fund was established six years ago in response to schools seeking financial assistance for field trips. Schools where 50% or more of the students receive free or reduced lunch are eligible for this funding. We are proud that in 2014 we subsidized visits from 196 schools, serving 12,478 students, thanks to grants and donations to this fund. We also offer discounted or free admission to families with patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House guests, subsidized housing residents, special needs children and adults, and ESL families.
AAHOM accomplishes our mission with 18 full-time and up to 40 part-time staff members, as well as interns, work-study students, and volunteers. Volunteers include over 400 community members, professors, high school and college students, and local business people who donate thousands of hours of their time towards helping AAHOM deliver exceptional programs, events, and exhibits.