About the Museum of Science, Boston

Museum of Science imageOne of the world's largest science centers and New England's most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science, Boston introduces nearly 1.4 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830 as the Boston Society of Natural History, the Museum is located on the Charles River with spectacular views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. It was the first museum to embrace all the sciences under one roof and the first science and technology center in the United States to earn accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Museum highlights include the following:

Exhibitions and other educational environments

Museum offerings include its new three-story Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River, connecting the natural and engineered worlds; the Hall of Human Life, a groundbreaking 10,000-square-foot exhibition drawing from the latest discoveries in the life sciences to engage visitors in their own biology and health; the Thomson Theater of Electricity, home of the world’s largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator; the newly transformed Charles Hayden Planetarium; the Mugar Omni Theater, a 180-degree domed theater; a new 4-D Theater; Colossal Fossil: Triceratops Cliff; the nation's first rooftop Wind Turbine Lab; the Butterfly Garden; the Art & Science Gallery; and the Live Animal Care Center for some 120 animals representing 50 species.

In 2001, the Museum opened The Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, which offers breaking news with interpretation by Museum educators and presentations by scientists and inventors. Museum of Science educators have also engaged more than 750,000 young visitors—53% of them female­—in Design Challenges (designchallenges@mos.org) at the Museum, involving the engineering design cycle.

National and international initiatives

In 2004, led by former Museum of Science president and director Ioannis Miaoulis, the Museum launched the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®). In 2015, its NCTL received the National Science Board's Public Service Award. Its award-winning curricula have reached an estimated 10.5 million students and 122,400 teachers in 50 states.

The Science Behind Pixar (educationenterprises@mos.org), created by the Museum in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios, is touring nationally after transforming the complexities of computer science into compelling experiences for more than 321,800 Museum of Science visitors and producing its best summer attendance in 17 years. The 12,000-square-foot exhibition explores the STEM skills involved in creating Pixar's award-winning films.

The Museum has also promoted technological literacy to 3 million people in museums nationally and in Australia via Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition, created with Lucasfilm Ltd. The Museum has also led a $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums, reaching 30 million people; it has become a model for the National Informal STEM Network, a national community of informal educators and scientists dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of STEM.

In The Clubhouse Network, modeled on the Museum’s flagship Clubhouse, over 20,000 underserved youth around the world are changing their lives through the creative use of technology and support of adult mentors.

Community Access and citizenship

With an Educator Resource Center and Teacher Partner Program, the Museum provides important resources for teachers—field trip workshops, pre- and post-visit activities, and professional development in K-12 engineering. Each year, 2,500-3,000 Boston Public School second graders from disadvantaged neighborhoods explore science for free through its Eye Opener Program. Since 2000, more than 338,000 visitors (many from underrepresented areas) have enjoyed free and/or discounted admission to the Museum or participated in its community events.

The Museum has also been recognized by Boston and Cambridge for its energy and sustainability efforts and named an Employer of Choice by Work Without Limits.