Center for Innovation


The Center for Innovation, an OMSI educational development group established in 2016, furthers OMSI’s continual commitment to working with students, families, schools, local industries, and community partners to create an ecosystem for science learning in and out of school. In pursuit of OMSI’s 20-year vision, the Center for Innovation is actively revolutionizing science learning through new programming, experiences, and spaces to empower and engage youth through hands-on STEAM learning opportunities. 

Oregon Needs Thinkers, Makers, Designers…

High-quality STEAM education is essential to Oregon’s economy and the health of our communities. Our future success depends on citizens equipped to understand complex systems, evaluate new knowledge, and collaboratively solve problems using 21st Century Skills like critical thinking and problem solving, communication and collaboration, creativity and innovation. 

Through the Center for Innovation’s work, OMSI is inspiring the next generation of STEAM professionals by creating places and programs where youth have the opportunity to harness their skills and build confidence to affect change on local and global challenges.

Turbine Hall Transformation

The Center for Innovation team is currently focused on transforming Turbine Hall to include experiences that empower visitors to use STEAM and 21st Century skills to design, make, and test sustainable solutions to real-world problems.

Built in the early 20th century, and home to the Physics Lab, Chemistry Lab, Curium and Epicenter, the newly transformed Turbine Hall now hosts the Innovation Stations, which offer hands-on learning experiences empowering visitors to solve some of modern society’s biggest challenges through science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

Read more about the exciting transformation taking place in the Turbine Hall:

Part 1: OMSI Makes STEAM Learning Accessible and Fun: STEAM is Pouring Out of a Place that Used to Spout Steam

Part 2: Connecting People to STEAM: OMSI’s Turbine Hall Gets a New Look and Updated Programming

Part 3: Preparing People for the Future: Why OMSI is Renovating, Updating and Restructuring the Turbine Hall

Part 4: The Global Goal: How Compelling Narrative is an Effective Way to Engage People With STEAM


Young learners (ages 4-8) can practice science process skills like cooperation, experimentation, and observation, in a play-centered environment. 


Completely reimagined and rebuilt, the Epicenter offers a fully immersive experience where visitors can plan and practice earthquake preparedness.. 


Visitors can freely tackle design challenges in accessible, fun and empowering ways. 

Experience the new Center for Innovation transformations made in Turbine Hall!

Visitor Info


Inspiring the Next Generation

Hands-on STEAM learning opportunities raise awareness for students about the range of opportunities and pathways open to them and help them gain the confidence, interest, and skills to pursue science and technical careers. 


Critical Thinking

Discover and analyze real-world design challenges to create innovative solutions to local problems.  




There’s no one right way to solve a problem. Make, break and reiterate without limits. 




More brains are better than one. Together, find new ways to overcome hurdles and learn from each other’s experiences.  



Thank You to Our Partners