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What Is the Boston Museum of Science?

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The Boston Museum of Science is a family-friendly museum located in Boston, Massachusetts, near the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall. This local landmark features an assortment of more than 500 temporary and permanent exhibits focusing on science and related topics. Several animal habitats, including a butterfly garden, are included among the exhibits. The museum has stated its intent to lower barriers related to language, culture, financial concerns, or education in order to make its educational opportunities available to all. This science museum is closed Sundays and offers extended visiting hours during the summer.

Founded in 1830 as the Boston Society of Natural History, the Boston Museum of Science opened in its current incarnation in 1951 and has expanded significantly since then. This museum's exhibits are based on science topics, ranging from reptiles and robots to crime scene forensics, lasers, and biotechnology. The Boston Museum of Science has also featured exhibits on topics such as baseball, cartoon animation, and the lives of famous individuals such as artist M.C. Escher and scientist George Washington Carver. In addition, past temporary exhibits have included props and other memorabilia from popular movies, such as the Harry Potter series and the trilogy Lord of the Rings.

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As a member of the Association of Zoos and Museums, the Boston Museum of Science houses more than 100 animals, including some that were rescued from danger and rehabilitated. Another highlight of the Boston Museum of Science is its dynamic simulator. This full-motion experience gives visitors a virtual taste of excursions beneath the sea, out into space, and more. Each simulator film runs about five minutes in length.

Dinosaurs have often been featured in exhibits at the Boston Museum of Science. The museum's original model of Tyrannosaurus rex was placed standing upright, with its head at eye level with visitors as they came in the entrance. Later, based on new information from paleontologists, an updated horizontally oriented model replaced the original. Other highlights of past dinosaur exhibits have included mechanical models, computer-based simulations, and actual fossils.

This family science museum features the Mugar Omni Theater, an IMAX® theater with a domed screen five stories tall. Among other offerings are twice-daily lightning shows using a Van de Graff generator donated in 1956 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Along with shows and demonstrations in the Charles Hayden Planetarium, there are free stargazing sessions every Friday night at the Gilliland Observatory, which can be found on the roof of the museum's garage.

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cardsfan27
Post 4

@JimmyT - To be totally honest I do not know of any. There probably are, but that does not mean that this museum is not unique.

I have been to many museums and I do not know of many that I have been to that compare to this one.

I always notice that there are large crowds there and that is a testament to what this place has to offer and exactly how well it appeals to the broad array of interests that people have.

What I would like to know is a website that provides the information to the museum and other places that may be a branch off of the museum, like say an exhibit at another location in the Boston area.

I am sure with the amount of collections that they have that they loan them out to other museums to use.

JimmyT
Post 3

@kentuckycat - I am sure that it is heavily funded and I am not the least bit surprised that this museum resides in the city of Boston.

Boston is the home to so many places of higher education and is a city known for its wealth of knowledge. It does not surprise me that they have such a museum that promotes learning across such a variety of fields.

I feel like this museum probably reflects the intellectual part of the city itself as it is seen as a place of higher learning and a place of history.

I am really wondering if there are any other museums like this in the country that have such a broad array of exhibits?

kentuckycat
Post 2

@Izzy78 - I absolutely agree. What I find to be very interesting is the simple fact that they have such a broad array of exhibits. I really have to wonder exactly how much their funding is?

I know this may be a strange question to ask, but when a place has so many different types of exhibits that spread across a variety of fields they have to hire that many more experts in order to deal with the exhibits and put things in there that pertain to the exhibits.

Also, the fact that there is also a zoo at this place is impressive in itself as the costs of running a zoo is incredible. One top of having a rather large museum with so many different types of exhibits that makes me think that this museum is very heavily funded.

Izzy78
Post 1

Wow, I find this to be very interesting that the Boston Museum of Science offers such a broad array of exhibits for something that seems like a specific type of museum.

I am betting that one would not think a museum with the word "science" in the title would think that props from famous movies would be housed there or even conceive the fact that there is a zoo there.

I am betting that this would be a great museum to go to as it seems to have a broad array of exhibits that would appeal to all kinds of people's interest and allow them to learn a few things along the way.

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