The Boston Museum of Science is an American cultural landmark and bastion of reason, exploration and education that is stretched along on the Charles River in Science Park, Boston. It has roots that stretch back to 1830 and has been known as the Boston Museum of Science since 1939. More than 1.5 million visitors pass through these doors every year. Yesterday my family and I added six to that tally.
The main hall of the museum sprawls over three levels and is segmented into different themed rooms like the Butterfly Garden, Mathematica, Nanotechnology and Innovative Engineers. There are hundreds of hands-on exhibits that somehow manage to catch the interest of people of all ages. My children had a great time exploring the science behind pulleys, optical illusions and probability curves.
The museum is home to more than a hundred animals including a whole slew of butterflies that inhabit a sun-sparkled glassed-in garden overlooking the Charles River.
One of the grandest exhibits at the museum is the three-story tall Van de Graaff generator housed in the Thomson Theatre of Electricity. We caught the 11 o'clock electricity show and were treated to an informative and electrifying (sorry, couldn't help it) presentation punctuated by a lot of sparking, arcing electrical bolts.
This guy, the presenter, has a cool job.
Claude Shannon is the man.
We ended our day by climbing the steep stairs of the Mugar Omni Theater for a viewing of "Into the Arctic," a 45-minute exploration of how climate change is affecting the wildlife of the far north. Omnimax movies are grand affairs and wrap your visual space with rich images and all-enveloping sound. "Into the Arctic" is wonderfully shot and narrated by Meryl Streep. This two-minute preview does not do it justice but does give you a little flavor.
If you're near Boston or should ever find your way there, do yourself a favor and schedule in a trip to the Museum of Science, especially if you have kids. Science offers the only shot we have at extracting ourselves from the ecological mess we've built for ourselves, and it's vital to instill respect and enthusiasm for science in the next generation.
Disclosure: The Boston Museum of Science gave me a few free passes to the main hall, the butterfly garden and the Omnimax. They also validated my parking.