Catawba Science Center On The SALT Block • 243 3rd Avenue NE • PO Box 2431 • Hickory, NC 28603 • Phone: (828) 322-8169 • Fax: (828) 322-1585
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Permanent Exhibits

Saltwater Gallery

Sharks & Stingrays

See and touch different species of LIVE sharks and stingrays in this hands-on marine habitat. See Live shark feedings. Check CSC's Event Calendar for times.


Coastal North Carolina

Explore a coastal habitat for marine creatures.  See and touch hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs and observe a variety of coastal fish.


Freshwater Gallery
Featuring Expedition Amazon

Amazon Basin

See rare and remarkable fish, frogs, snakes, turtles lizards and crabs native to the Amazon Basin. Look closely for freshwater stingrays and brilliantly colored poison dart frogs.


Amazon Oxbow

Get an underwater view of a variety of fish found in an Amazon oxbow lake – including Silver Arowana, Eartheaters, Catfish and beautiful Peacock Bass. Learn about oxbows, or crescent-shaped lakes in lowland Amazonia that form when a river changes course.


Wall of Life

Biotope aquariums display species native to various habitats in South America – whitewater, brackish and blackwater streams, as well as an up-close look at predator, camouflage and endangered fish species. Expedition Amazon includes electric fish, including knifefish and a three-foot electric eel.


Hall of Astronomy

Explore the surface of Mars using a robot arm, view live images of our solar system downloaded from the Hubble Spacecraft, create a dust devil and see a model of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover in this hands-on exhibit area located just outside the doors to the Millholland Planetarium.


Energy Avenue

Create and launch rockets, race a friend on pulley playground, take a spin in Spin Circle, power a TV and electric fan, and more. Energy Avenue is located in the lower level of CSC.


Inventor's Workshop

Design your own invention, build a rocket, experiment with circuits, make a car that runs on air and bring your invention to life at the “Wall of Moving Art.” Activities feature Take-Apart-Days, weekend demonstrations and cool events.


EarthWatch Center

EarthWatch Center

Learn about conditions on the Sun, experiment with forces of water and experience 78 MPH of fun in CSC’s Tornado Simulator. Located off Energy Avenue on the lower level of CSC.


Science Courtyard

Discover science North Carolina style. Climb the mountain wall, experiment with sound and search for fossils at the end of the brook. This outdoor exhibit space is closed during inclement weather.


Naturalist Center

Visit CSC's recently remodeled Naturalist Center – home of Seymour, an African spur tortoise, and Pedro, a desert tortoise. Observe live reptiles, amphibians, insects and arachnids, in addition to an eclectic collection of preserved animals, insects, fossils and more.


Explore It!

Explore the world around you - visit a farm, treehouse and play with the puppet animals inside, experiment with light, go fishing and build an igloo with "ice blocks" in this colorful, interactive learning space for CSC's youngest visitors.



Explore the principles of motion in this high-speed exhibit area with hands-on activities using balls and various types of tracks.



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