• Liberated Voices / Changed Lives

    Discover the Quad Cites’ unique suffrage story, 100 years after the 19th Amendment gave women the vote.

    Find out how Quad-Cities women made the case  for  and against women's right to vote with an original Putnam exhibit, Liberated Voices / Changed Lives.

    Travel back in time to investigate the local roots of the women's suffrage movement from the perspective of local women and men from 1900 to 1920.

    In Liberated Voices / Changed Lives, you'll see how household inventions — from the simple toaster to the more complex electric washing machine — created more free time for local women to organize in the movement, and transformed their lifestyle leading up to and directly after the signing of the 19th Amendment. This exhibit will close November 4, 2020.

    featured (her)stories

    This interactive exhibit lets you use touch-screens to learn about and explore legacies of suffragists such as:
         • Dr. Mabel Palmer, “First Lady of Chiropractic” from the Quad Cities;
         • Ms. Eldorado Jones, Moline factory owner and inventor;
         • Mrs. Francis Baker, African American rights leader from Davenport;
         • AND MANY MORE!

    Take a virtual tour

    Please note this video was filmed on 3/25/20. The Museum is now open to the public. 

    Watch Impact: QC Women's Fight for the vote


    SCRALOGO.jpg     HumanitiesIowa.jpg

    This  exhibit is generously sponsored by Royal Neighbors of America and Vickie Anne Palmer Pruter as well as supported by grants from  Scott County Regional Authority and Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    NOTE: This project is supported by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The views and opinions expressed by this project do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Innovation vignette sponsors

    Cristy Tackett-Hunt and Allen Hunt
    Abbey Carpet Gallery
    J + M Civil Design 



    Special thank-you to exhibit video sponsor Mickle Communications and in-kind sponsor WVIK

    Liberated Voices / Changed Lives is also made possible with additional support from the exhibit's community engagement committee.
  • Fossil and Mineral Annexes

    The fossil and mineral annexes, located off our "new" main entrance, features rotating displays from our rock, mineral and gem collections as well as our paleontology collections. 

    Currently featured in the fossil annex is a collection of Mazon Creek fossils from Illinois, including a Tully Monster (the Illinois State fossil), and a number of other strange animals from that site. The Mazon Creek area is world-renowned for its preservation of soft-bodied animals. Iowa's unofficial State fossil, the crinoid, is also currently featured. In aditional to a crinoid slab from Le Grand, Iowa, the display also includes part of one of the earliest donations made to the museum from outside the immediate Quad Cities area, a collection of crinoid stem pieces collected from Burlington, Iowa, that were acquired in January 1868.

    The mineral annex currently features minerals from Iowa--Yes, there's more to Iowa's rocks and minerals than coal and gravel. There is also a selection of some of the birthstone material found in our mineral collection, including a wonderful amethyst specimen from Thunder Bay, Ontario. If you're interested in mineral identification, some of the tools of the trade can be found here as well.   

  • River, Prairie & People

    River, Prairie and People takes visitors back in time as they discover what the Quad Cities was like for its earliest inhabitants, and how the Mississippi River helped form the community.

    Experience how the Quad Cities took shape through milestones such as the founding of Davenport by Antoine LeClaire, and how the Civil War brought about the Rock Island Arsenal.

    See many Quad-City artifacts including the famous Davenport Tablets, learn how John Deere got his start and get up close to Bix Beiderbecke’s cornet as you stroll through this exhibit of Quad-City history.


  • Unearthing Ancient Egypt

    Step into an ancient Egyptian tomb, discover how ancient Egyptians lived and what they required for a pleasant afterlife. Through a collection of breathtaking authentic Egyptian treasures and the magic of CT (Computed Tomography) imagery, explore two mummies − inside and out! Find out how forensic anthropologists reconstruct facial features and take in our amazing collection of authentic Egyptian treasures!

    This iconic gallery is not to be missed!

  • Uwé Warúmi

    Uwe’ Warumi (pronounced Oo-way Wah roomey – the Trading Place − while enjoyable for all visitors, was especially designed for children ages 4-10 years old. The room’s size, labels and activities were created with children and their caregivers in mind.

    We believe that children are competent, imaginative and inquisitive, and that the learning that occurs in the museum has a positive, lasting and important effect on their cognitive and social development.

    Within the fun of Uwe’ Warumi lies important skills and learning opportunities for young children. Explore Social Studies information through a child’s eye look at EuroAmerican and Native American cultures. Use mathematics to trade the correct furs at the post trade store. Practice large (gross) motor skills on the Native American dance mat or enhance fine motor skills with a game of pick-up sticks. Use the sight word labels to encourage independent reading and engage in pretend play to foster social development.

    Reading, trading and dancing are just some of the activities adults and children can explore together. Encourage your child to explore in his or her own way and follow their lead. The Uwe’ Warumi space is an area where children are encouraged to be the leaders of their own discovery.


  • Science Galleries

    Note: The re-imagined Weather and Science of Art Galleries in the Science Center are now open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stay tuned for information regarding the reopening of other science galleries.

    An inspiring, hands-on experience for everyone! Playing a laser harp, creating a cloud, and discovering the power of 230,000 volts probably isn’t your typical day.

    The Putnam Science Center is part of the Museum’s focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and supports national and statewide efforts to increase STEM skills. Using existing museum space, the center spans more than 10,000 square feet and features more than 45 hands-on stations.

    Visitors of all ages will not only learn concepts and make connections to STEM careers but will have fun together doing it!



    The Bechtel Trusts
    John Deere Foundation
    Vision Iowa
    Alcoa Foundation and Alcoa Davenport Works
    Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust
    City of Davenport
    Hubbell-Waterman Foundation
    Modern Woodmen of America
    Cobham Life Support
    Easter Family Fund
    Mr. Reuben Margolin
    Riverboat Development Authority
    Scott County Regional Authority
    Achieve Quad Cities
    Genesis Systems Group
    John H. Harris III Memorial Foundation
    Mr. Frank & Mrs. Ann McCarthy
    McLaughlin Body Company
    Scott County
    Mr. Steve & Mrs. Jane Bahls
    Mr. Mark & Mrs. Rita Bawden
    Duncan & Dianne Cameron Family Foundation
    Doris & Victor Day Foundation
    Moline Foundation
    Royal Neighbors of America
    Mr. Myron & Mrs. Carolyn Scheibe
    Shive-Hattery, Inc.
    Tennant Truck Lines, Inc.
    Mr. Dana & Mrs. Faye Waterman
    Dr. Ralph H. and Mrs. Marcia A.
    Iowa Space Grant Consortium
    Isle of Capri
    Mid States Transmission Parts
    Miracle Tools America LLC
    Anne McCoy Nagan Fund
    Mr. Chris & Mrs. Mary Rayburn
    Dr. Paul & Mrs. Karen Rohlf
    Mr. Mike & Mrs. Sara Thoms
    Mr. Frank & Mrs. Teresa Clark
    Mr. Ken Croken & Ms. Kathryn
    Mr. Travis & Mrs. Amanda Crowell
    DMW Design
    Ms. Kim Findlay & Mr. Rick Brackey
    Iowa/Illinois Chapter NDIA
    Mr. Stephen & Mrs. Melinda Kruse
    Mr. Leo Schubert & Ms. Susan Sharar
    Mrs. Katherine Sigardson-Poor & Dr. Curtis Poor
    Silver Oaks Communications
    Mr. David & Mrs. Barbara Sloane
    Staak Family Fund
    US Bank
    Anonymous (2)
    Mr.  David & Mrs. Ewelina Bergert
    Mr. Ryan & Mrs. Allison Castle
    Ms. Christine Chandler
    Ms. Linda Cook
    Ms. Drue Curry
    Mr. Mark & Mrs. Mary Davidsaver
    Ms. Christy A. Doornink
    Mr. Jeff & Mrs. Lori Doroba
    Doroba Dental
    Mr. Ted & Mrs. Lisa Ewing
    Mr. Luke Fernandez
    Mr. Keith & Mrs. Marie Gellerstedt
    Shaun & Victoria Graves
    Mr. Matt & Mrs. Christine Hayes
    Ms. Christina Kastell
    Mr. Brad & Mrs. Lindsey Kennedy
    Ms. Alice H. Loff
    Ms. Kelly MacIntyre
    Mr. Steve & Mrs. Patricia Mapley
    Ms. Janet Masamoto
    Mrs. Barbara Matt
    Ms. Susan Matt
    Mr. Tim & Mrs. Lynn Murphy
    Ms. Nichole Myles
    Mr. David & Mrs. Martha Neal
    Claudia & Randall Neumann
    Diane & Michael Puthoff
    Ms. Susan S. Skora
    Ms. Meia S. Teague
    Ms. Betsy Matt Turner
    Mr. Rian Waterman


    Barbara H Lowe, Wendy Schuldt, Douglas L Rick, Allison Castle, David Bergert, Lindsey M Kennedy, Nixalite of America, Luke Fernandez, Susan Matt, Mark A Davidsaver, Drue K. Curry, Nichole Myles, Barbara Matt, Christy A Doornink, Alice Loff, Patricia Mapley, Stephen Mapley, Matt Hayes, Timothy J Murphy, Susan S. Skora, Christine L Chandler, Theodore B. Ewing, Christina Kastell, Meia S. Teague, Linda Cook, Kelly MacIntyre, Elizabeth Matt Turner, Rian D. Waterman, Jonah Cohen, and anonymous

  • Black Earth | Big River

    Cross over the bridge and let the River guide you through the natural habitats of the Quad Cities area. Explore wetlands, woodlands, prairies and even your own backyard as you wander through the Putnam’s interactive exhibit. See the creatures large and small that roam our area today. Explore a huge oak tree – from the inside out! Listen to the sounds of the marsh and the stories of the people who live on the River. Come face-to-face with LIVE Mississippi River fish and reptiles in our 718-gallon aquarium!

    You'll do this and more when you see the area's natural habitats as you've never seen them before in Black Earth | Big River.

  • Hall of Mammals

    Explore the world of mammals at the Putnam! From the familiar cottontail rabbit in your backyard to the polar bears of the Arctic Circle, mammals – large and small – are everywhere! Travel from an artic glacier to an African waterhole, and check out who's come for a drink. Not only will you see these animals in their natural habitats, you’ll hear them too!

    Where else can you travel from your backyard to the dusty plains of Africa and the ice-covered waters of the Arctic in just a few steps?

    Take a Virtual Tour of our Hall of Mammals exhibit! You van view more on this exhibit by following our YouTube Channel here!

  • Ocean Experience

    Designed for kids and families, the Ocean Experience focuses on underwater habitats! View a giant clam sheel, observe a real coral reef or try your hand at operating an underwater robotic arm. 


  • OMg! Elements of Surprise

    Discover the building blocks that shape YOUR WORLD through this Putnam exhibit experience about the weird and wonderful Periodic Table!
    Elements are all around you; they make up EVERYTHING — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth we walk on AND YOU!
    Celebrate the Year of the Periodic Table and take an eye-opening tour through the Periodic Table of Elements — more than 150 years after its creation!

    In this fascinating, interactive exhibit, you’ll explore how these elements shape your world while you create molecular compounds and set off virtual chemical reactions! From hidden histories to stories your teacher never told you in Chemistry class, you'll discover the periodic table in a new light!

    Take a virtual tour of the OMg! Exhibit

    Visit our YouTube channel to view more OMg! videos. 


    Chemistry demonstrations are available! Learn More


    Generous support provided by Arconic Foundation
Copyright © 2020, The Putnam Museum & Science Center, All Rights Reserved