Now closed, Sci-Quest was a hands-on science center located in Huntsville, Madison County, that offered visitors more than 100 interactive exhibits demonstrating basic scientific principles. Sci-Quest's exhibits and programming were aimed at developing children's interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The facility also offered informal, hands-on science education and workforce development programs. Sci-Quest was governed by a board of directors and employed approximately 17 people. Community volunteers provided additional support for special events and educational programs. In April 2008, Cyndy Morgan was appointed as the new executive director. That same year, Sci-Quest saw its largest visitor attendance yet, with 90,722 for the year. Decreasing funding and other support forced the facility to shutter its doors in 2016, after 20 years of operation.
The institution that would become Sci-Quest began as the North Alabama Science Center (NASC), founded in 1989 by Huntsville community volunteers who were concerned about science education and careers. During the next decade, NASC conducted a capital campaign and renovated 42,000 square-feet of former manufacturing space donated by Calhoun Community College in Huntsville. Volunteers created hands-on exhibits focusing on space, technology, and science and worked with staff to train additional volunteers. They also developed educational programs that would be used inside the science center. In May 1999, NASC moved from space loaned by Calhoun Community College to the new facility, which was named Sci-Quest.
Grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission enabled Sci-Quest to develop interactive exhibits that aligned with the basic science principles taught in Alabama public schools and to develop an Early Childhood House filled with hands-on exhibits appropriate to children ages four to eight. Support from the Huntsville City School System and the Madison County School System provided teacher assistance in developing the programs. Sci-Quest added two classrooms with funding from the Jane K. Lowe Charitable Foundation, and a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) grant provided funds for a solar display and exhibit.
Sci-Quest housed more than 100 permanent interactive exhibits examining seven themed areas. The PlayMotion exhibit allowed visitors to interact directly with projectors to play entertaining and educational games. In the Early Childhood area, children aged pre-K to seven years old were introduced to basic sciences through highly interactive activities. The Early Childhood House was specifically designed to engage young children and encourage them to explore and learn. For example, a music room introduced children to the sounds of the different types of instruments mounted on the wall, and a piano keyboard on the floor. A scaled-down kitchen allowed children to use their imaginations to create a home environment, and a hands-on garden added to the Early Childhood House's backyard in 2009 allowed children to "plant" different vegetables such as carrots, turnips, parsnips, and tomatoes. Sci-Quest also hosted traveling exhibits, such as "The Magic School Bus" and "Robotics." Sci-Quest's Immersive Theater presented educational content in a 3-D, high-definition show and through touch-screen computers, allowing visitors to personalize each experience. In 2009, with the help of Connect Class 8 in Huntsville, Sci-Quest added distance learning equipment to its classroom facilities.
Soon after the economic recession of the late 2000s, support for Sci-Quest began to fall, and the facility was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2014, being more than $1 million in debt. The facility was forced to close in February 2016.