7 Science Museums Where Learning Is A Thrill
Many institutions promote observation, questioning, and testing as a basis for discovery. From organizations giving credit to history's most important inventors, to educational centers encouraging exploration through all five senses, these institutions introduce the scientific method of discovery in an interactive setting. In no particular order, here are some museums inspiring visitors to explore and learn more about all things that may be observed.
Starting off our list at #1 is the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology. Located in Syracuse, New York, the institution comprises 35,000 square feet of exhibits, a domed IMAX theater with an extensive film library, a space for hands-on educational activities and demonstrations, and an immersive planetarium. Visitors may participate in a variety of experiences, like fossil digging in the Earth Science Discovery Cave, or experiencing a real flight trainer that was used by WWII pilots.
The MOST houses several unique exhibits according to areas of interest and study, from Life Sciences, to the Rothschild Apothecary Shop, displaying an authentic recreation of a 1900s-era pharmacy. Meanwhile, shows at the Silverman Planetarium include HubbleVerse, which explores the Hubble Space Telescope and its images of deep space.
Next at #2, the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is a non-profit organization and discovery center located in Shoreham, New York, on the site of Nikola Tesla's last remaining laboratory. The institution's mission is to develop the site into a global science hub that embraces the spirit of invention, provides innovative learning experiences, supports the advancement of new technology, and preserves the legacy of the iconic visionary.
The Tesla Science Center's multitude of programs and events includes the organization's webcast series, which hosts discussions with experts on topics related to the inventor. There's also Teslamania, during which physics teachers give demonstrations to showcase unique ideas, inventions, and activities in physics education and student engagement. Elsewhere, visitors may schedule walking tours of the Wardenclyffe grounds, and view the base on which the inventor's transmitting tower once stood.
Coming in at #3, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum strives to enhance the understanding and appreciation of art and science by presenting unique, educational, and entertaining experiences that encourage discovery, inspire creativity, and foster the pursuit of knowledge. The Baton Rouge establishment is located in a 1925 historic railway station, and boasts a purported 175,000 visitors each year, over half of whom are school program participants.
The Ancient Egypt Gallery displays several anthropological artifacts, including a Ptolemaic-era mummy, while the Museum's fine art area showcases changing exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection. In the interactive art and science galleries, meanwhile, educational toys like play sets, hands-on models, and natural artifacts are designed to inspire and spark a sense of discovery in children of all ages. Finally, the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium lets guests view sky shows and large format films.
Entering our list at #4 is Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences. Established in 1976, the Center provides cultural activities, science exhibits, and a fine art gallery in southern Brazoria County in Texas. The volunteer-driven nonprofit seeks to encourage ideas, nurture talents, and offer opportunities for discovery.
The Center's events include a variety of musical performances, plays, and musicals, as well as several shows at the Brazosport Planetarium. Elsewhere, the institution's Museum of Natural Science comprises several sections that focus on specific fields. The Bryan Cooney Hall of Paleontology, for instance, features a collection of dinosaurs and other ancient animals, while the Hall of Wildlife houses examples of local fauna.
At #5, the American Museum of Science and Energy was established in 1949 to provide educational programs focused on the Department of Energy’s past, present, and future missions. Situated in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, AMSE houses permanent and rotating exhibits, provides educational demonstrations, hosts evening events, and holds spring, summer, and fall camp programs for students.
The Museum's areas of focus include Environmental Restoration, Energy Leadership, The Manhattan Project, and the Exploration Zone, which provides visitors with hands-on activities and interactive stations for everything from robotics to batteries. Beyond the exhibits, the institution also offers interactive curriculum-based activities for school groups and STEM education programs.
In at #6, WonderLab claims to build curious and creative problem solvers, inspired by the wonder of science, who will shape a better future for themselves and the world. The Bloomington, Indiana center offers an informal educational setting for engaging the mind and senses in learning and discovery. WonderLab hosts several interactive science activities, workshops, and events for children, adults, and school groups.
Programs incorporate partners from the community, including Indiana University, local businesses, professional artists, non-profit organizations, and clubs. Interactive installations include Sandscapes, an augmented reality display that teaches the effects of changing topography. Meanwhile, the Bubble Flow exhibit educates visitors of all ages about the science of surface tension, light, color, and more.
Lastly, at #7 is the Science Museum of Virginia. Located in Richmond, the institution inspires a purported hundreds of thousands of guests a year through hands-on science and innovative programs. SMV offers experiential exhibits, artifacts, interactive technologies, living animals, and lab demos. The Museum's 76-foot Dome theater screens immersive shows, while special events, like overnight adventures and summer camps, give youth a fun, educational escape.
From the Giant Insects exhibition, which gives visitors an up-close view of a variety of arthropods, to Speed, highlighting both the fastest and slowest things in the universe, each area teaches visitors a different subject through participatory displays and activities. Daily demonstrations cover topics like sleep, classical conditioning, and engineering.