COSI Center of Science and Industry

COSI Center of Science and Industry Logo

Basic Information

Address: 333 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH, 43215
Phone Number: 614.228.2674
Director: Dr. David Chesebrough

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COSI Center of Science and Industry
COSI Center of Science and Industry
COSI Center of Science and Industry
COSI Center of Science and Industry

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Additional Information

Days and Hours: Varies by day and season. Please visit www.cosi.org for details.
Description:

COSI, Columbus, Ohio's dynamic Center of Science and Industry, inspires the scientists, dreamers, and innovators of tomorrow. Opened in 1964 at Memorial Hall in downtown Columbus, COSI moved in 1999 to a new 320,000-square-foot home designed by internationally-renowned architect Arata Isozaki, creating one of the largest modern-built science centers in the United States. COSI continues to represent a significant investment in the economic development and community revitalization of downtown Columbus.

As a "center of science," rather than a standalone science center, COSI has established embedded partnerships that enrich our guests' experiences, including WOSU@COSI, the only working television station in a science center; the Ohio State University (OSU) Labs in Life, working research laboratories created through a partnership with The Ohio State University and staffed by OSU researchers; Battelle's STEM Innovation Network, in partnership with one of the world's leading research institutions; the Columbus Historical Society; and the STEM-based Metro High School, among others.

In 2008, COSI was named America's #1 science center for families by Parent Magazine. Since 1964, COSI has engaged with over 30 million people from all 50 states and around the world, both on-site and through its award-winning outreach programs.

Grade Levels:
Pre-K
K-5
6-8
9-12
Group Type: Discounted group rates available with advance reservations.
Disabled Access:

COSI is an accessible facility. The Guest Services desk in the Atrium offers both strollers and wheelchairs for our visitors’ convenience. Prior arrangements are not necessary, but items are available on a first come, first served basis. A driver's license is required to secure either a stroller or a wheelchair for the day.

Program Type:

COSI – Columbus, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry –has supported science education since 1964 with pioneering and award-winning programming for teachers and students.

Admission/Tickets: Available online in advance or at the COSI Box Office. Please visit www.cosi.org for details.
Registration: For advance reservations, please call 614.228.2674.
Food: COSI offers food options to tickle the taste buds! Our café offers pizza, deli sandwiches, made-to-order items, and other options to eat healthy.
Length of Visit: Varies by group.
Student/Staff Ratio: COSI strongly recommends groups no larger than five (i.e., five students per one adult chaperone); Little Kidspace, The Gadgets Café and Adventure all require a 1:5 chaperone to student ratio.
Max. Group Number: None
Group Requirements: Groups of 12 or more are encouraged to make advance reservations. Discounted group rates are available with advance reservations.
Exhibits: COSI's Classic Exhibits include: Energy Explorers, Space, Big Science Park, Life, Ocean, Progress, Gadgets, the Columbus Historical Society, and others. COSI also hosts traveling exhibits for a limited amount of time and some may require the purchase of an additional ticket. COSI's Adventure exhibition and the Extreme Screen Theater also require the purchase of an additional ticket.
Gift Shop/Factory Outlet: COSI's Science2Go! gift shop is located on Level 1.
Retail Store: COSI's Science2Go! gift shop is located on Level 1.
Amenities: Amenities & Accessibility COSI's Guest Relations Team is ready to assist with any needs during your visit to COSI. The Guest Services desk is located in the Atrium on Level 1 (main entrance) of the building. Strollers, Wagons, and Wheelchairs The Guest Services desk in the Atrium offers both strollers and wheelchairs for our visitors’ convenience. Prior arrangements are not necessary, but items are available on a first come, first served basis. A driver's license is required to secure either a stroller or a wheelchair for the day. Exhibit & Theater Access Every exhibit and the 7-story Extreme Screen theater are handicapped accessible through the 3 elevators located throughout the building. ATM A Chase ATM machine is located near the Guest Services desk. First Aid Basic first aid supplies (band-aids, ice packs, etc.) are available at the Guest Services desk. In addition, a first aid room is located behind the Guest Services desk in the Atrium. Lockers Large lockers are available for $.50 per use and are located on the Mezzanine Level for your convenience. See our Interactive Map for other locker locations. Lost and Found COSI provides lost and found services at the Guest Services desk in the Atrium. Items that are turned in to lost and found can be claimed during business hours. Items can be mailed to the owner for a small fee. Elevators The main elevator is located on the east side of the building and is constructed of glass for your exploration and viewing pleasure. In addition, there are two additional elevators located in the north and south wings of the building. Family Restrooms COSI offers family restrooms on all exhibit levels. Changing tables are available in both men’s and women’s restrooms. little kidspace® COSI provides an interactive and participatory environment just for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. The little kidspace® area offers many amenities for families to use while exploring this exhibition area. The amenities include extra clothes while drying clothes in the dryer, a bottle warmer, and a nursing room. Smoking Areas COSI’s designated smoking area is on the east side of the building. Public Telephone A phone for guest use is available at the Atrium Guest Services desk. See a COSI Team Member for assistance if you need to make a call. Guests with Special Needs COSI strives to accommodate the needs of all our guests. Should a specific need require an assisting companion, we will gladly admit the assisting companion to our facility free of charge. We have implemented some programs to help our guests with special needs. Some of these programs include: Hearing Accommodations The Extreme Screen theater utilizes assisted listening devices for those individuals with minimal loss of hearing (check with the Guest Services desk for availability). Arrangements can be made for sign language interpreters if advance notice is given, and scripts are available for select live shows. Visual Accommodations Select Extreme Screen showings have been audio described; check with theater hosting staff for availability. With prior notice, mobility ambassadors can be arranged to accompany individuals or groups throughout the exploration at COSI. The ambassadors will help read various signs and navigate the building. Special Accommodations Should any special accommodations arise that require advance notice, please notify the Call Center when you make a field trip reservation.
Reservations Needed: Groups of 12 are more are encouraged to make advance reservations. Please note discounted group rates are available only with advance reservations.
Directions:

COSI is easy to get to! Click the link below, then type your address below the map to see routes and check travel time.

http://cosi.org/visit

Nearby Attractions: Ohio Statehouse, Columbus Commons, Columbus Museum of Art, Santa Maria
Mission Statement:

“COSI provides an exciting and informative atmosphere for those of all ages to discover more about our environment, our accomplishments, our heritage, and ourselves. We motivate a desire toward a better understanding of science, industry, health, and history through involvement in exhibits, demonstrations, and a variety of educational activities and experiences. COSI is for the enrichment of the individual and for a more rewarding life on our planet, Earth.”

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

COSI... A Trusted Community Resource

When a committee of COSI team members from different divisions worked together to create our identity statement several years ago, each vice-president, along with myself, placed a framed plaque of those words on our desks as we believed they truly described what COSI is about. We also posted flyers with these words throughout the employee areas of the building because we wanted the COSI team to remember that COSI is a trusted community resource, and we have proudly held that distinction for almost 50 years. Of course, there is much to be proud of; over the years we have offered many programs and experiences that demonstrate we are a diverse and inclusive science center:

■We offer special events that encourage girls to discover science and meet female role models,

■We provide field trips that give high school students the opportunity to meet leading scientists who are culturally diverse,

■We invite the general public to attend lectures that explore concepts across science and religion,

■We make available multiple discounts that ensure all children can visit COSI regardless of their ability to pay,

■We value the safety of all our guests and have installed signs with universal-design symbols throughout the building so most people can understand what to do in the case of an emergency regardless of their language.

Since 1964, COSI has welcomed over 22 million visitors from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries. We are proud to serve so many people of different backgrounds who are interested in science and visit COSI to learn more about their world and make informed personal and societal choices. COSI is an inclusive place where all members of this diverse community are encouraged to feel welcomed; and respect for every person is at the heart of all of our work. COSI values diversity and aspires to be an environment for our guests and our team, where diversity is understood, recognized, respected, and celebrated to enrich the community overall and the individual lives of all members of the community.

Facility History:

The original idea for COSI was born during a business trip to Chicago in 1957 by Sanford N. (Sandy) Hallock ll, who worked as an account executive for the Byer and Bowman advertising agency. While there, he visited the Museum of Science and Industry which he had visited as a boy with this father. Something must have clicked on this visit, however, for when Sandy returned home, he said to his wife Peggy, "Do you know what Columbus needs? It needs a Museum of Science and Industry!" Sandy's lifelong interest in science and technology led him to pursue the dream of creating such an institution in Columbus, and in 1958 he wrote the original proposal for a Center of Science and Industry.

The actual creation of COSI resulted from a fortuitous coming together of personalities and circumstances. The inspiration and idea for the Center, of course, came from Sandy Hallock who took the idea to a business acquaintance, Herschel Stephan. Mr. Stephan was the President of the Franklin County Historical Society which was housed in the county's old Memorial Hall building at 280 E. Broad Street, Columbus Ohio. He took the idea of creating a science museum to the Historical Society's board of Trustees. In November of 1961, the Board presented a formal plan to establish a Center of Science and Industry to the Franklin County Commissioners, who, at the time, were trying to preserve Memorial Hall which had fallen into considerable disrepair.

In October, 1962, the Franklin County Commissioners agreed to allocate the funds needed for the renovation of Memorial Hall.

Preston Wolfe, publisher of the Columbus Dispatch, had been instrumental in getting the County Commissioners to save this county building from demolition and became a strong backer of the idea to transform Memorial Hall into a science center.

Herschel Stephan was responsible for bringing on board his close friend and neighbor, Walter English, as a member of the Franklin County Historical Society's Board of Trustees. Mr. English soon became the Center's most enthusiastic backer, and eventually served many years as President and Chairman of the Historical Society and of COSI. He helped ensure COSI's financial stability during the early years.

By the 1950's Memorial Hall was considered by many a "white elephant." The building was falling into disrepair, a bond issue to overhaul the building was defeated and there wasn't much of a consensus among city leaders about what should happen to old Memorial Hall.

Sandy Hallock, Herschel Stephan, and Historical Society Director/Secretary Dan Prugh took the plan and a model of the Center all over the city to business leaders to gain their support and to convince them to build and sponsor exhibitions that would become part of the new Center housed at Memorial Hall.

On January 1, 1963, the Historical Society Board appointed Sandy Hallock Executive Director of the Center of Science and Industry. During 1963, Memorial Hall was remodeled to accommodate the new Center. Work included the addition of a second floor and the installation of a drop ceiling and new lighting in the lobby. Another feature was a huge circular "cyclorama" wall in the lobby featuring a quote from astronaut John Glenn.

COSI opened to the public on March 29,1964. That first day, an Easter Sunday, COSI welcomed more than 5,000 guests, who paid 50 cents for an adult and 25 cents for a youth admission.

After 35 years in Memorial Hall, COSI moved to its current location in downtown Columbus at 333 West Broad Street on November 6, 1999. Internationally renowned architect Arata Isozaki designed the 320,000 square foot building to showcase the future of COSI. Since 1964, COSI has welcomed nearly 20 million visitors from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries.

Additional Information:

Strategic Areas of Focus
In addition to offering experiences that highlight basic concepts of science, COSI is placing emphasis on exploring the areas below, which have been identified as being critical to the future of our community and to incorporate the real work of science and technology professionals.

Energy & Environment
COSI is developing experiences and activities that demonstrate a systems approach to environmental science and that showcase COSI as a sustainable "green" free-choice learning institution.

Technology & Innovation
COSI seeks to bring real scientists and real researchers into COSI to showcase local innovation and invention through exhibits, programs, special events, and other activities.

Health & Medicine
COSI is working to highlight the vast array of community resources related to health and medicine while bringing the public information that they can use to create better, more healthy lives.

Early Childhood Education
COSI aspires to be the “go to” place for families with young children for activities, parties, workshops, and parenting information.