Headwaters Science Center Bemidji Minnesota

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The Headwaters Science Center in the Bemidji area provides local people and visitors with science learning. Their primary audience remains schools and visitors with school-age children. It’s a cool place, and I’m sure you will enjoy it when you visit Bemidji, whether you have a young family or are just out for a learning experience. The displays present science exhibits about Northern Minnesota. By all means, life-long learning keeps your mind active and becomes fun!

Headwaters Science Center
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This Bemidji Science Center stands in the downtown area. It’s easily accessible, and parking shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you go during a school day, you may run into a busload of kids! So, let’s get to it! By the way, if you want to go to another learning experience, go back here, the Boardwalk Bog Walk. But don’t leave me!

Headwaters Science Center Downtown Bemidji

When you enter, the picture on the left shows part of the first floor. There are more pictures below of a few details on this floor. The middle picture shows part of the upstairs. The one on the right shows more of the upper floor. The lower-level pictures show a variety of animals. Unless you have more questions (?!), let’s move on!

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Headwaters Science Center Details

Here are more displays. The sun and solar system include several more displays. The windmill actually operates. You’ll see a fan on the upper floor, and it’s turning the windmill. A pump at the bottom shows water flowing into a tank. For display purposes, it’s recycling the water, but you get the idea. Of course, the old-style windmill uses the same principle as the current wind turbines populating any area having enough wind to operate them efficiently.

Another exhibit at the Headwaters Science Center is shown above. The first two pictures tell you about the display and then show the real fur and skin of formerly live animals. Try this for some hands-on experience. You can touch and hold various furs and skins. In fact, they advertise this feature as furs, fins, and feathers! The staff allows you to touch the items on the table and will take items from the display case for your “touching pleasure!” The other display shows both a gyroscope and a circular moving platform on the floor. First, they demonstrate how raising your arms causes you to spin faster, and lowering them again slows you down.

Using the bicycle tire-like device demonstrates how a spinning gyroscope is more difficult to move. Held correctly, it will also affect you if you stand on the spinning wheel on the floor. The spins will counteract or enhance each other, depending on how they are held. You will have this and other opportunities to explore.

YouTube video from the center

Then let’s watch a quick demonstration of a globe impacted by compressed air. Here’s the link to my YouTube channel.

Bemidji State University’s connection to the Headwaters Science Center

About 25 years ago, a University professor worked for the Headwaters Science Center for about a year. During that time, he set up a number of programs and contributed to the exhibits. In addition, the University provides some funding on an annual grant to the center. Also, many of the employees are students at the university.

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However, they work there as a job. The university’s only connection is publicizing the job availability, as they do for other employers. I talked with two employees, one of whom was a current student. The other one graduated already but planned to stay around for a year or so to help out with projects around the center. They both said that students enjoyed working there.


Let’s take a bit for a review so far. This place is a unique experience. You can experience science demonstrations here. For those visiting the area with young families, the Headwaters Science Center certainly makes for a great visit. You may end up staying a couple of hours and taking part in the interactive exhibits. Undoubtedly, you’ll find something for the entire family. Of course, that’s assuming you are interested in learning more about the science in the area.

The museum is open every day, including Saturday and Sunday. I found a report indicating it’s closed on Tuesday, but their website currently says seven days a week. Since I’m not into shopping much, I didn’t look very long, but others say they have a unique gift shop. Also, you can buy a membership to support their mission. There are several annual membership plans. Admission fees run $6 for ages 2-11, $9 for ages 12+, and $8 for seniors.

Classic Rock Recollection

“Rocket Man” by Elton John (Hey, it’s science!)

And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh, no, no, no
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone

Written by: Elton John and Bernie Taupin

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