After being closed to the public for a little over a year, the Hands-On Science Center held its grand reopening event Saturday, June 19, with a vast array of activities and events.

According to Executive Director Sean Amidon, the science center had over 800 guests come out to the event and take part in some of the activities and events while seeing some of the numerous improvements that were made while being closed.

“It was greatly satisfying being able to see people on site again,” Amidon said. “Operating only virtually for so long had its highlights.  We expanded our reach to over 50,000 people across the country, but being able to see the faces of the children and the joy and awe in their eyes really lets us know that what we do is truly important.”

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the science center was bustling with a steady stream of guests with various activities they could participate in throughout the day inside and outside the science center. Some of the outdoor activities included building and launching rockets, face painting, a bongo circle, displays from the Department of Energy and Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and live animals like reptiles and birds of prey.

The indoor activities took place in both the classroom and auditorium at HOSC and included free take home science kits, the Science of Music, Tennessee Department of Agriculture kids talk, Cool Science, liquid nitrogen experiments, Native American Prehistory with Old Stone Fort, snake science, a birds of prey show, dissecting a real owl pellet and looking at bones under a microscope.

Amidon said the rockets and animals were most popular among the children.

“Children loved the opportunity to build and launch their own rockets and, of course, seeing animals is always a hit,” Amidon said.

With the center officially reopened and returning to general admission hours, Amidon said the current plan is to gradually continue to expand its onsite exhibits while continuing its virtual presence. He added the monthly free events will be starting up again, with the first one being a celebration of World Chocolate Day on July 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. During the event there will be a ribbon cutting of the next rotational exhibit, titled "Arcs and Angles—Black Light Fun" at 4:15 p.m. that day.

Amidon said the exhibit will feature a glow-in-the-dark basketball game that will teach the importance of math and understanding arcs in sports, as well as black light mini-golf to teach how to use angular geometry to get a hole-in-one.

Next month the science center will be hosting its HOSC Summer Science Camp. The camp will last from July 5 to July 30 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp is open to children between ages 6 through 13. The cost of the camp is $99 per week or $375 for all four weeks. To sign up for the camp go to

The science center will also host the 7th annual “Reach for the Stars” rocket competition on July 10 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Any child from the age of 10 to 18 who wants to enter can send an email with their shirt size to The competition is supported by the Air Force STEM program. The cost for each competitor is $9.

HOSC is located at 101 Mitchell Blvd. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m.

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