SAN DIEGO, CA—Visitors to the Fleet Science Center can hop in a time machine and explore 50 years of science, pop culture, trends and San Diego history with Flashback, a new exhibition opening Saturday, Feb. 11. The exhibit features the Fleet’s classic collection set in five themed galleries representing the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.  

Visitors to Flashback can build a catenary arch while sitting amid a 1970s retro orange carpet, experience colored shadows inside a 1980s-themed mall food court and even take selfies while jumping for joy on light-up hopscotch in the 2010s gallery. Each gallery offers something for everyone to feel connected to their memories and to the power of science. 

The 1970s gallery whisks guests back to a time of bellbottoms, shag carpets and disco music. The Fleet’s classic exhibits include the Chaotic Pendulum I, Touch a Spring, Dino Dig and the Catenary Arch. 

Stepping into the 1980s gallery evokes memories of a classic American mall food court, bright colors, and hip-hop and new wave. Classic exhibits on display include Stop Motion, the Phenakistoscope, You and Me, and Colored Shadows. 

Some might remember the 1990s as the decade for grunge music, Beanie Babies and the countdown of Y2K. In this gallery section, the exhibits on display include Einstein Seen, Sikus, Waves in Motion and Resolutions. 

The 2000s gave us society-shifting technology such as camera phones and the iPod. Science exhibits on display are the Tornado, Turntable, Molecules in Motion, Oscylinderscope, and Hot and Cold. 

Finally, the 2010s gallery reminds us of the rise of social media platforms, selfie sticks and self-driving cars. Exhibits on display include the Tricorder X Prize, Hopscotch, Augmented Reality Sandbox and the Spin Chair.  

Flashback opens ahead of the Fleet’s 50th-anniversary celebration, which officially kicks off in March. The Fleet will be celebrating all year long with events, activations, community partnerships and more. 

More Information

The Fleet is open daily to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the ticket counter and online.

About the Fleet Science Center 

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, the Fleet Science Center has been a central link between science, schools and scientific organizations, collaborating with the communities that call San Diego County home. Its mission is simple yet bold: to realize a San Diego where everyone is connected to the power of science. The organization delivers on this mission through engaging experiences and culturally driven education programs in neighborhoods throughout the county and the historic Balboa Park flagship location. From interactive exhibits and school field trips to free science programs, the Fleet is forward-thinking and consistently evolving to create positive change in the world. To learn more, visit  

About Balboa Park: 

Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit

Image of the entrance to the Flashback exhibition. A purple wall with white text and the word "FLASHBACK" stylized at the top. To the right is a panel that says "70's"