Program areas at Houston Museum of Natural Science
Since its establishment in 1909, the Houston Museum of Natural Science has served as a valuable resource for the Houston community, offering extensive collections, exciting interactive exhibits, immersive environments, engaging films, compelling traveling exhibitions, and comprehensive classroom experiences. In its permanent venues - drawing from its diverse collections of over 1.5 million objects - the Museum provides visitors with opportunities to expand their knowledge of anthropology, malacology, mineralogy, paleontology, entomology, chemistry, physics, biology, and other disciplines. The 400-seat Wortham Giant Screen Theatre presents relevant and entertaining films covering a wide variety of scientific topics. The Burke Baker Planetarium provides state-of-the-art, immersive learning adventures in astronomy and related subject matter. The Cockrell Butterfly Center is a living rain forest, allowing visitors to observe plants and insects and learn their roles in a natural ecosystem. The George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park is a direct link to the planets and stars, giving visitors the opportunity to stargaze with a variety of telescopes, including the 36-inch Gueymard Research Telescope, one of the largest telescopes in the U.S. available to the public.The Museum's main entrance gift store offers Museum-related toys and educational items, a book room with science titles for all ages, and limited-time only special exhibit products. The gem and mineral store offers lapidary sculptures, ancient fossils, and rare minerals to extend visitors' interests in these items beyond the exhibit.The Museum is also available for rental after-hours so that its amazing collections and exhibits can be viewed in a more intimate setting.
The Museum's educational efforts are aimed at children and adults alike. Through hands-on interactive opportunities such as summer camps, field trips, outreach programming, teacher trainings, lecture series, and curator-led travel opportunities the Museum seeks to provide an inspirational learning environment that promotes scientific inquiry as a mode of thinking and engages the public in the wonders of science.