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The Hill Country Science Mill in Johnson City Texas

Johnson City is a small Texas Hill Country town best known as the historic home of President Lyndon Johnson, but an innovative scientist and entrepreneur named Bonnie Baskin is working toward the future. Dr. Baskin purchased an abandoned mill to create a new children’s museum.

The defunct feed mill was originally built in 1880 to be a steam grist mill and cotton gin featuring unique mechanical innovations that were used to process, sort and distribute grain to the community. The building then became a flour mill in 1901. After electrical power became available, it served as a feed mill in the 1930’s – 1980’s. In the 1980’s, part of the building and property was transformed into a restaurant and entertainment center. The museum opened in 2015 after 14 months of renovation.

The stated purpose of the new children’s science museum is to “ignite the curiosity, ambition, innovation and problem-solving potential of the next generation through an innovative, immersive experience that enhances the community’s understanding of, and appreciation for, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).”

The design team for the Texas Hill Country Science Mill searched worldwide for fun and interactive exhibits to engage the children in learning about technology, engineering and math. The Paludarium features a wetland exhibit with many plants and animals. The old grain silo has become a disco where the radio waves from your cell phone are transformed into beautiful pulsing colors. The Fractalarium will blow your mind with the beauty of complex repeating designs that extend into infinity. You can even build a custom race car and compete with your friends or family on the track. These are just a few of the exhibits you can enjoy in a full day’s worth of activities.

For an even more in-depth learning experience, the museum offers a variety of programs. There’s an exciting summer day camp when the kids are out of school. They bring in amazing guest speakers including scientists, astronauts, doctors, and engineers. They host children’s birthday parties and groups like the Boy Scouts. The museum has special days for field trips and homeschoolers. The space can also be reserved for parties, wedding receptions, professional development workshops, and corporate events.

The Texas Hill Country Science Mill is another fine example of the unexpected treasures you will find hidden on the back roads of Texas. Texas offers such unique juxtapositions: eclectic art galleries next to country music honky tonks, space exploration and barbecue, oil drilling and wind farms, astronomical observatories and camping trails – you just never know what might be in the next little town around the bend.