Customer experience research conducted by Public Policy Associates, Inc. is helping Lansing’s Impression 5 Science Center improve visitor experiences.

PPA gathered and analyzed data through online surveys from nearly 600 visitors and prospective visitors of the downtown science center.

“The study demonstrates that Impression 5 is highly valued by the community. This finding is consistent with our place-based economic development work,” said PPA Board Chair Jeffrey D. Padden, who led the research. “We are pleased to provide assistance to such an important cultural and educational institution in our region.”

“Hearing directly from customers is critical for institutions like Impression 5 to determine how to deploy available resources and how to better engage with the Greater Lansing community”, said Dave McConnell, vice president for research operations at PPA. “So understanding that most parents believe visiting Impression 5 helps their children do better in school, and that people want more interactive exhibits, more activities, and longer hours of operation is going to help Impression 5 improve its offerings and increase access for the community.”

The customer satisfaction survey queried adults about such things as the importance of scientific learning, the types of exhibits they value, interactions with staff, and possible physical improvements.

Impression 5 Executive Director Erik Larson said the PPA research will be useful in helping chart the center’s future.

“Impression 5 is committed to using real data to help us grow and make meaningful changes that will positively impact our guests now and in the future. The PPA team was instrumental in leading us through the steps to develop a research tool that thoughtfully dialed in on what we were looking to learn from our members, guests, and potential future guests. This type of data is essential to our strategic planning and helps us, as a team, learn how to serve our community in an impactful way while also creating a stronger sustainability framework for our organization.”

Impression 5 is a nationally recognized science center that promotes learning through hands-on exhibits and participatory educational programming. You can learn more about it at

PPA is a Lansing-based firm providing independent research, evaluation, and strategic consultation services to help clients improve policies and programs. You can learn more about PPA at

For more information about PPA’s work in placemaking, contact Mr. Padden at