Museum of Science and Industry

The Idea Factory

<< Previous Next >>

Exhibit Essentials

This exhibit is suitable for Grades PreK-3.
Lower Level, Idea Factory
Museum Map
Included with Museum Entry

The Idea Factory provides children with endless opportunities for scientific exploration through interactive activities, which allow them to discover scientific principles for themselves. This engaging experience is a “must” for families with young children up to 10 years old.

Children can explore the attributes of four basic objects: cube, sphere, tetrahedron and cylinder. Using these objects, they’ll experiment and test their own theories about the fundamentals of construction, simple machines, light, color, magnetism, balance, air and water. For example, kids aged three to five years can explore the effect of differently shaped roads on the speed and movement of toy trucks, and how air pressure can push plastic spheres across the room.

Construction Crane encourages children to use hand-eye coordination to retrieve and move objects with an electromagnetic crane. Kids aged 6-10 years can use a crane to lift heavier objects remotely and determine how weight affects distribution of balance. They can also observe the different ways to manipulate light using mirrors.

The Water Spectacle contains 3,300 gallons of water and invites children to discover how water moves objects and help set off the great geyser—an enormous water spray that can make it "rain"!

Important Exhibit Information

  • Amenities like in-exhibit restrooms and a nursing room ensure a worry-free visit for caregivers.
  • To ensure optimal guest experience, the Museum limits the number of visitors using the space at any one time.
  • All children entering the Idea Factory must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone.

Museum Hours
  • Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
More Information

Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
Getting Here

Buy Tickets Online

New Online Activities

  • Online Activity
  • goREACT

    Create virtual chemical reactions anywhere with this interactive periodic table.

All Online Activities

Find It on the Map

Map of the Museum

See the Museum Map

Get our e-Newsletter!
Subscribe to the e-Newsletter
connect with msi!