Science museums have always been a great source of amusement that has also quenched the thirst of people’s curiosity about the world of technology and innovation over the years. As the name suggests, Science museum’s concentration lies on giving geeky students an insight to the world of natural history, paleontology, botany etc. In recent times, the crux of Science museum’s exhibit has shifted its focus to the world of technology thereby giving vivid details about its progression that has orchestrated the development of mankind.
Many countries across the world have been aggressively promoting Science museum visits through their tourism program as it is a very practical approach to enthuse learners about science and technology. We bring you the 10 best science museums in the world.
10. California Science Center (Los Angeles, California)
The California Science Center has to be one of the most comprehensive museums in the world. Established in 1951, the museum has permanent exhibits from the world of ecosystem, life cycle but it is its vast assemblage of air and space exhibits that have been a great crowd puller round the year. The ecosystems’ 45,000 square foot- two story display center exhibits live animals and aquariums to demonstrate adaptation method of creatures. “World of life” area explains the life process of animals, organisms that have the same development pattern and reproduction system. The museum is marked for putting up displays of famous spacecraft like Space Shuttle Endeavour, aircrafts like Douglas Mariner, Lockheed A-12, Northtop F-20 Douglas Shark along with various human and robotic spacecraft.
9. Ontario Science Center (Ontario, Canada)
Uniquely designed three main buildings, each of the buildings connected to each other through placed chain of bridges and escalators that run through the ravines of Don River; Ontario Science Center is one of world’s few science museums wherein almost all exhibits provides live demonstration and conducts interactive sessions via computer display. The museum also has the world’s largest outdoor hydraulophone. Another stellar piece on display is a humungous kinetic sculpture named Cloud which operates fully through computers. One of the most visited places in Ontario, the science museum is also noted for its live exhibits in the field of communication and music composition.
8. Science and Technology Museum (Shanghai, China)
This science museum sprawling over 98,000 square meters with millions of Yuan investment is nothing less than a modern marvel. The meticulously planned exhibition area of 65,000 square meters is technology hub guaranteed to mesmerize tech geeks with its exhibits from the field of robotics. “Light of Exploration” is one of the best sources to enlighten the museum’s visitors about man’s accomplishment in the field of science technology. Add to it the two IMAX theatres with tilted effect that screens movies on science and technology. The sheer use of latest technology to showcase all its exhibits is what makes the museum a huge crowd puller.
7. Science City (Kolkata, India)
The largest science museum in the Indian sub continent that truly serves its motto of science popularization, Science City is also a fantastically designed museum that has tons of interactive exhibits. Visitors worldwide have heaped praises on its interactive gallery known as Dynamotion Hall that lets you explore some of the basic principles of universal occurrences like Illusion and spherical science i.e. a projection system. Other noteworthy exhibits are accessible in Earth Exploration Hall, 3D Vision Theater. However, it is the motion stimulator system named Time Machine and Mirror Magic creating optical illusion through reflection of light which is hugely popular. To top it all, visitors can enjoy the luscious green Science City Park on a sunny day!
6. Hong Kong Space Museum, (Tsim sha shui, Hong Kong)
Established back in 1980, Hong Kong Space Museum is solely devoted to exhibits on space technology. The building has been dissected into east and west wing. East wing houses a planetarium in an egg shaped dome structure. Another attraction is its Hall of Astronomy in the West wing which screens science shows on digital planetarium projector. But perhaps the biggest draw in the museum is the “moonwalk” booth which creates the same effect as walking on the moon albeit with the help of cable harness.
5. Science Museums, (Aarhus, Denmark)
Science Museums in Aarhus is maintained by the Science and Technology department of Aarhus University which makes it an independent museum. The key attraction of the museum is Ole Romer Observatory which has been named after Ole Romer, a famous German astronomer. It is surrounded by green parks from all corners and allows visitors sneak peek into the area 50 cm telescope. The Herbarium in the museum has a large collection of roughly 75,000 plants’ specimens from all over the world. Within the premise, you shall find Steno Museum that has been archiving the history of science and medicine for decades now.
4. Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics
It comes as no surprise that Russia has been a pioneer force to reckon with in the field of space science and technology. Hence it makes it imperative to visit Memorial museum of cosmonautics for the reason that it exhibits valuable artifacts of space exploration. One cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to watch the space capsule used by Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the earth. Also in display are poster art of Soviet space program, Lunokhod; Soviet moonrover, Soviet Krechet spacesuit to name a few. The museum is conveniently located to Moscow Metro which makes travelling to this iconic science museum is a no-fuss affair.
3. Nikola Tesla Museum (Belgrade, Serbia)
If you are a geek, there is no better way to express your gratitude and respect to Nikola Tesla than visiting the museum named after him; the futurist who is also one of the most brilliant inventors mankind has ever seen. As an ode to this iconic genius, Nikola Tesla museum has almost every record of the Serbian- American scientist in the form of thousands of journals, photographs, replica of some of his best known inventions like two phase induction motor, asynchronous motor, Tesla coil etc. Long story short- it is the holy grail of knowledge for all those science nerd who revere Nikola Tesla.
2. National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Tokyo, Japan)
Also known as “Miraikan”, this futuristic museum brings forth the technology involved to deal with the perennial problem of earthquakes in Japan. Visitors can get detailed information about the earthquakes that have transpired courtesy the museum’s huge real time data and many seismometers that have been put to use. In the list of exhibits, a Honda robot named Asimo is a crowd favorite for its near human ability to wave hands and run! Besides its exhibits on seismology, visitors thronging in Miraikan can also get a glimpse of the museum’s own world mapping tool named Authagraph.
1. National History Museum (London, United Kingdom)
It’d be more than apt to state that no other science museum can amalgamate science and technology artifacts with architectural magnificence like National History Museum. It is simply history personified to say the least. The section of this iconic that’d have the nerds hook is Geological museum that has globally popular active volcano model and a James Gardener designed earthquake machine. This science and technology museum is nothing less than rich so far as collection of fossils, human anatomy and exhibits showing dinosaur’s life cycle goes. Another cornerstone of this palatial museum is Darwin Centre that preserves specimen from the field of zoology, biology and botany.
Apart from the aforementioned science museums, there are few more honourable mentions that worth every moment spent. Some of these museums have been built at the outset of the ongoing millennium whereas the others have been holding the legacy for decades. These include:
a) Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum built in 1978 which showcases Greek science and technology particularly in the field of automobile.
b) Galileo Galilei (Argentina) planetarium that has a piece of lunar rock gifted by Richard Nixon. The rock was fetched by Apollo XI mission.
c) Bloomfield Science Museum, Israel.
d) The Mind Museum located in Philippines which was established in 2012. The museum cellular structure themed museum has several exhibits on various elements required for survival on earth.