Program areas at Museum of Science
EXHIBITS include over 900 standing exhibits, housed in 132,000 sq ft of gallery and related space, providing hands-on experiences in all areas of science, technology, and their social impact. The Museum creates permanent and travelling exhibits both on its own and in collaboration with other institutions, and is one of three lead partners in the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISENet), a network of approximately 600 museums, colleges/universities, libraries, scientific professional organizations, and research institutions which creates and shares exhibits and programs relating to important current science and technology topics. A Museum-produced travelling exhibit called the Science Behind Pixar highlights the math and science skills Pixar filmakers use in bringing their films to life. Two copies of this exhibit are currently touring other US and international museums. The Museum also hosts travelling exhibits produced by other institutions. Traveling exhibits hosted by the Museum this year included: Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life; Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails; Dogs! A Science Tail
EDUCATION PROGRAMS include summer courses for children, overnight programs, an Educator Resource Center, and field trip programs for school groups. The Museum is also the home of the National Center for Technological Literacy (NCTL) which works with education, government, and industry to integrate engineering in schools and museums nationwide. The NCTL has developed standards-based preK-12 curriculum and out-of-school materials and provides professional development programs in math and engineering, as well as online teacher resources. (76,700 visitors and participants, not including many thousands of children using NCTL curricula worldwide)
PUBLIC PROGRAMS include exhibit interpretation, lecture series, live animal demonstrations (the Museum is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums), physical science demonstrations, lightning shows in the Thomson Theater of Electricity, special events, demonstrations and podcasts relating to topics of current science and technology, hands-on Design Challenges and a walk-through Butterfly Garden. The Museum's community outreach programs provide access to these and other programs to underrepresented audiences, and the Museum's Traveling Programs' fleet of vans bring programming out to schools, libraries, and community centers across New England. (727,500 onsite visitors and 61,100 offsite participants served.) After the Museum's March 2020 closure due to COVID, many of its public programs shifted to MOS at Home, an online delivery model.
THEATERS include the Charles Hayden Planetarium, offering lectures and demonstrations of astronomical phenomena, current discoveries and historical topics. The Mugar Omni Theater, the largest domed IMAX theater in New England, offers 70mm format films, while a smaller 4-D theater offers short 3-D films on a range of science and nature topics augmented by sensory effects such as wind, mist, and smell. Planetarium shows this year included: From Dream to Discovery: NASA Engineering; Explore the Universe; One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure; Moons: Worlds of Mystery. IMAX films included: Great Barrier Reef; Cuba; Great Bear Rainforest (311,000 theater visitors served)
Services provided primarily for the benefit of our members include our parking facility, membership office, and gift shop. (46,066 member households)