Watch CBS News

Boston's Best Science Exhibits

Every modern city worth its mettle has an establishment that teaches and celebrates the various sciences. Many, like Boston, have several science institutions that offer exhibits for visitors and residents to get a taste of what is happening in science and its history. Even non-scientific establishments help promote the sciences in the city of Boston. After all, science is crucial to the advancement of humanity and, put simply, it is pretty cool.
Photo credit: Museum of Science

Museum of Science, Boston
1 Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 723-2500"Lightning!" is perhaps the most interesting exhibit in one of the most interesting museums in Boston. The entire building is full of scientific activities, displays and learning opportunities. However, only one is startlingly real and literally shocking. Using a massive Van de Graaff generator, the trained operators of this instrument put on an amazing show in the electricity room of the museum periodically throughout the day. It includes music made by electricity, lightning striking several objects in the room and even lightning hitting a cage in which the operator stands. This is real lightning, but in a very controlled environment for the most entertainment one can have with electricity safely.

Related: Harvard, MIT Scientists Create Real Lightsaber

Harvard Museum of Natural History
(Photo Credit: Harvard Museum of Natural History)

"The Glass Flowers Collection"
Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-3045
www.hmnh.harvard.eduWhen art and science combine, you often get something like da Vinci's anatomical drawings or, in this case, more than 3,000 glass flowers. Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka were jewelers commissioned by a botanist working at Harvard to make these flowers. They, in turn, worked on them for several decades near the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. The result of this collaboration is a massive collection of beautifully crafted and anatomically correct models of flowers that include dissections to aid in the study of these magnificent floras without actually damaging them.

Robots n Beyond
Photo credit: MIT Museum

"Robots And Beyond"
MIT Museum
265 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 253-5927"Robots and Beyond: Exploring Artificial Intelligence at MIT" is an exhibit dedicated to Artificial Intelligence and its progression at MIT. As one of the leading science universities in the world, MIT paves the way in the development and research of quite a bit of technology. Among that technology are humanoid robots, robotic limbs, surgical robots and more. The school dedicates its largest lab space to AI and the results are offered up at the "Robots and Beyond" exhibit at the school museum.

Photo credit: Boston Children's Museum

Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500
www.bostonchildrensmuseum.orgThe Boston Children's Museum has the aim of entertaining and teaching children. With science-based activities, the museum certainly succeeds. When it comes to exhibits, "Investigate" is the best for children who enjoy science, as it allows for the curiosity and action that fuels scientific advances every day. Whether it is natural or investigative science, there is something for little ones to learn in this interactive play exhibit.

Collection of Historial Scientific Instruments
Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

"Collection Of Historical Scientific Instruments"
Harvard University
1 Oxford St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-2779
www.chsi.harvard.eduScience is nothing without the tools that people have used for thousands of years to answer scientific questions, apply science to everyday life and much more. The pieces housed and displayed in this collection represent some of the strides scientists have made in their respective fields. They show the ingenuity, inventiveness and even patience that must go hand-in-hand with science for it to make the leaps necessary for the advancements we see so often now thanks to these building blocks. To miss out on this exhibit is to miss one of the science gems Boston holds.

Related: Boston's Best Museums For Dates

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.