Detroit Science Center Debuts Toyota Engineering Theater

March 03, 2009

Get ready to enter the exciting world of engineering with a theater experience like no other when the Detroit Science Center opens the Toyota Engineering Theater on March 14, 2009.

This immersive, multi-media theater experience will take Science Center visitors on an interactive journey into the world of real-life engineers, while incorporating state-of-the-art digital video, dramatic computer-controlled lighting, a 43-foot projection screen and active seating.

“It is our vision to become the nation’s premier engineering-focused museum.The centerpiece of this vision is to create a theater experience that will inspire today’s youth to become the engineers of tomorrow,” said Kevin F. Prihod, president & CEO of the Detroit Science Center. “The theater will expose them to the exciting, prestigious and profitable careers of actual engineers in many different engineering fields.”

“New opportunities in science, engineering and innovation are vitally important in today’s economy,” said Ed Mantey, vice president, engineering design & electronics systems, Toyota Technical Center (TTC). “Toyota is proud of the Detroit Science Center’s efforts in raising awareness of the many opportunities that exist and inspiring young visitors to pursue careers in engineering and other science-based fields.”

Toyota TTC, a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, was established in Ann Arbor in 1977. It is Toyota’s largest technical center outside of Japan and employs more than 1,000 people. TTC’s newest facility in York Township began operations in October 2008 and represents an additional $150 million investment. TTC is engaged in engineering design, prototype building, vehicle evaluation and advanced technology research for Toyota’s North American built vehicles.

The Toyota Engineering Theater will present video profiles of engineers and their education, lifestyle, work day, services and products. It will help visitors make the connection between everyday life and groundbreaking research, new inventions and scientific discoveries.The innovative, fast-paced video techniques will maintain the interest of young audiences and provide information to help parents and educators encourage children to explore engineering careers.

The premiere show, Engineering Adrenaline,will feature fast-paced, heart-pumping action that will literally take the audience for a ride as they learn about the fascinating world of engineering.The show will feature three engineers: an Olympic kayaker who designed and built the world’s largest man-made whitewater rafting park; a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab engineer who is working on a 6-legged robotic rover for the next moon mission; and a Toyota engineer who will take the audience off-road and on the race track as she designs an air delivery system for the Tundra full-size pickup truck.The show promises to rock the audience in their seats and entertain them with visual effects, animation, music and a live presenter.

The Toyota Engineering Theater was made possible by a $2 million contribution made by Toyota in 2007. Additional support for the theater is provided by The Carls Foundation, DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, Masco Corporation Foundation, Samuel and Jean Frankel Foundation, TeL Systems and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Admission to the Toyota Engineering Theater is included in Detroit Science Center museum admission. For show times and additional information, please visit

A Media Preview opportunity will be offered on Thursday, March 12, at 10:30 a.m. To RSVP, please contact Kelly Fulford at 313.577.8400, ext. 430, or

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $464 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit

About the Detroit Science Center

The Detroit Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires its visitors to pursue and support careers in engineering, technology and science. The Science Center features Michigan’s only Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the Chrysler Science Stage; a 9,000 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; the United States Steel Fun Factory; an exhibit gallery just for pint-size scientists; and a Special Events Lobby. The Science Center has served more than 2.3 million visitors since its grand re-opening on July 28, 2001. It is one of the 10 largest science museums in the country. For more information, please call 313.577.8400 or visit the website,

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