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Published: Monday, 7/6/2009

Imagine this

WHAT do history's greatest inventors, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, and philosophers have in common? Imagination. And if we do not cultivate imagination in the young, there will be no future generations of Michelangelos, Reinhold Niebuhrs, William Shakespeares, and Stephen Hawkings to push the bounds of human experience.

It is, therefore, appropriate that the children's science center formerly known as COSI has chosen Imagination Station as its new name.

When Imagination Station opens in October in the old Portside building along the Maumee River, it promises to be an exciting place where new and interesting exhibits will encourage children of all ages to expand their imaginations in the realm of science.

Thanks go to 5-year-old Raymond Lopez - as well as his sisters, Christina, 12, and Kaylee, 8 - who came up with the imaginative rhyme. But even more, thanks go to Lucas County voters, who could not imagine not having a science museum to inspire area children and approved a 0.17-mill, five-year levy to fund the center.

"Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were," Carl Sagan once said. "But," he added, "without it we go nowhere."

Having a children's science center does not necessarily mean that some local child will be inspired to someday make a revolutionary scientific breakthrough, write the next great novel, or chart new directions in philosophy, theology, or political thought.

But not providing young people with as many opportunities as possible to develop their imaginations - to, as Michelangelo said, see the angel in the marble and carve to release it - will make it much more difficult for today's youth to dream the big dreams that brought us to our current level of civilization.

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