The centre first opened in 1984, as a replacement for the Queen Elizabeth Planetarium, located to the east, that had operated as Edmonton's Planetarium since 1960 but had become limited by its seating capacity of 65. The City of Edmonton selected the Edmonton Space Sciences Centre as the City's flagship project commemorating the Province of Alberta's 75th Anniversary. The original building was designed by architect Douglas J. Cardinal.
When first opened, it was called the Edmonton Space Science Centre and then later it was changed to the Edmonton Space and Science Centre. In 2001, after a 14-million dollar expansion of the original building, the name was changed again to the Odyssium. On May 2, 2005, the center was renamed to the Telus World of Science - Edmonton after a $8.2 million, 20-year partnership was established with Telus. The centre attracts over half a million visitors a year and has Canada's largest planetarium dome theatre (the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre).
TWOSE is currently undergoing another expansion, budgeted at $40 million, that would see the centre triple in size. The expansion includes a new DVT (Digital Visualization Theatre), new galleries, an upgraded restaurant and, through a partnership with the University of Alberta, a research facility that would allow ideas to be tested and modified. The renovations have begun, with the café under renovation. There is currently no target date available for these renovations.
An interactive gallery that is designed to interest children between the ages to two and eight years. It consists of four main areas: WaterWorks, the Construction Zone, Discovery Den and Potters Corner. Some of the highlights include a giant piano, which you play by walking on the keys, a multi-level water table and a multitude of blocks.
The Environment Gallery has interactive displays about hydrology, ecology, meteorology (featuring a Science On a Sphere projector), and Alberta's geology.
The Body Fantastic room is an interactive carnival-style exhibition about the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Highlights include a multi-axis trainer and the Gallery of the Gross, which houses specimens of earwax, urine and other substances that the human body produces.
The Lego Mindstorms Centre is a 45-minute guided program in which guests program pre-built robots to perform various tasks and missions. It is only open to the general public during weekends and holidays. During the week it is used by school groups.
The Space Place introduces visitors to astronomy and astronautics. Highlights include an actual moon rock, on long-term loan from NASA, that was collected during the Apollo program, a radio controlled replica of the Mars Pathfinder rover and a computer program that turns your face into an alien.
This exhibit space hosts small temporary exhibits that are included with a general admission. Currently, it is used for summer camps, school groups, and for various public and non-public events.
The Science Garage is an exhibit where visitors can be more hands-on and explore science face-to-face, with activities as well as learning opportunities such as a vertical climbing wall. There are make-and-take workshops, as well as an array of ever-changing programming offered in this gallery.
This 1,500-square-metre (16,000 sq ft) gallery hosts large temporary exhibits that are not included with a general admission. Past exhibits have included Star Wars: Identities, Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life, Harry Potter: The Exhibition, and Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology. Currently, the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is featured, until September 5, 2016. This will be followed by Angry Birds: The Exhibition, on October 8, 2016.
A 275-seat theatre showing current educational movies, shot in high resolution IMAX film reel. The Telus World of Science features the original IMAX Theatre in Western Canada. Images are enhanced by a custom designed six-channel, multi-speaker sound system are projected onto a 13m x 19m (4 storey x 6 storey) screen.
In early 2016, renovations had been completed in the IMAX theatre, upgrading it to an IMAX Laser 4K Projector system (one of 2 theatres in Canada – the only one in western Canada).
Admission to the IMAX theatre is not included with general admission. Recently, the IMAX Theatre began showing Hollywood blockbusters (such as Batman v Superman or Zootopia) within a few months after screening in cinemas. As with the educational films, these are not included in the admission price and can be more expensive than the educational films. The Hollywood films cannot be used in the Science Centre + IMAX combos.
The 250-seat large dome theatre that was formerly used for laser shows and star shows. It was the largest such theater in Canada when the center opened in 1984. In 2008, the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre changed its projection system and educational content to a full dome immersive video experience. The Telus World of Science Edmonton was the first planetarium and science center in Canada to showcase this new technology for domed theatres. Admission to shows in the Star Theatre is included in general admission.
The Syncrude Science Stage features a staff member demonstrating science, typically involving flammable gases, dry ice, or electricity. A child from the audience will often be called upon to assist the demonstrator with an activity. The demonstrations are included with general admission.
This computer lab opened in August 1995 and relocated to its new location in April 2001 beside the Telus Robotics Lab. The DOW Computer Lab has various electronic teaching tools available and a high speed internet connection to each workstation. However, the computer lab can still be rented for special events and is used during the summer months for computer camps.
There is an observatory outdoors, separate from the main building. It is free of charge, but it opens only when the weather permits, and it closes if the temperature is below −15 °C (5 °F). It is equipped with seven telescopes, including a Meade 16" LX200, a 180 mm (7 in) Starfire refractor, and three solar telescopes all provided by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Edmonton Centre).
The science centre has a café for visitors and for special events such as fundraisers. The café is undergoing renovations as of early 2016 with an estimated completion by the end of August 2016. The café is also responsible for providing the concession, which is currently hosted in the main lobby, next to the box office.
There is also a gift shop in the lobby, featuring a range of educational products, books, gift items, and other knick-knacks.
Science in Motion is a feature at Telus World of Science - Edmonton that brings science programs and presentations to schools that are more than 100 km (62 mi) from the centre. The program, taught by certified teachers, uses experiments, demonstrations and hands-on activities to teach science and is designed to meet the learning objectives set out in the Alberta science curriculum.
The TransAlta Science Lab is a fully equipped laboratory that allows students to participate in science experiments.
The Museum is affiliated with: ASTC, CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.