Whether you're a local or a tourist in Philadelphia, consider visiting these five science museums to learn more about the human body, the history of science, insects, the environmental atmosphere and the history of medicine.
The Franklin Institute
This museum focuses on human health from the heart to the brain to environmental sciences from lightning to outer space with presentations, workshops and present-day science programs.
The Franklin Institute has been around for nearly 100 years, and has made history as one of the earliest institutions to provide interactive exhibits for the public to engage in and learn from.
This museum is by far the most frequently visited across Pennsylvania and has been acclaimed as a must see tourist attraction in the City of Philadelphia. Additionally, The Franklin Institute is recognized as a top science institution and a leader in academic teachings across the nation, and has attracted people from all around the world.
The Franklin Institute is located at 222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. For more information, visit their website.
The Science History Institute
This museum teaches guests about both historical and recent developments in chemistry, engineering and biology, and how they affect day-to-day living and their expected impact on the future. Guests can explore artifacts, collections, readings, podcasts and videos to learn more.
The Science History Institute’s permanent exhibition, the Object Explorer, takes guests back to more than 500 years ago to learn about the history of everyday objects and their creations, such as clothing, appliances and batteries. Guests can also learn about how vaccines, food and clean air have been created with both scientific and technological methods.
Digital exhibitions are also available for attendees to explore including “Vaccine Factories: Animals in the Making of Human Immunity,” “Mechanochemistry: The Science of Crush,” “Second Skin: The Science of Stretch,” “Things Fall Apart,” “Age of Alchemy, “Science at Play” and “Instruments of Change.”
The Science History Institute is located at 315 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106. For more information, visit their website.
Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion
The Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is the city’s latest science institution, and has two floors of displays for guests to check out, including a 7,000 square foot butterfly house and a diverse group of arthropod insects ranging from tarantulas to scorpions to praying mantises. The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion invites guests to participate in hands-on informational events and classes suited for both children and adults.
Guests can visit the insects in the insectarium section of the museum to explore their habitats, learn more about each species and ask questions of the staff members. The butterfly pavilion is open throughout the year for guests to interact with the various species of tropical and domestic butterflies. Private reservations are available upon request.
The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion is located at 8046 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19136. For more information, visit their website.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
This museum has been around since 1812, and has since served the public with experiments, classes and programs surrounding biodiversity and environmental science topics ranging from dinosaur models to existing animals to a butterfly garden.The Academy of Natural Sciences has exhibits for both children and adults from a discovery center to a fossil dig along with the option to ask questions of field experts.
Additionally, this institution has over 18 million artifacts and archives of geographic, biological and historical backgrounds, many of which date back to the time periods of Thomas Jefferson, John James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is located at 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103. For more information, visit their website.
Mutter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Lastly, the Mutter Museum is well known across the nation for its displays of conserved selections of human specimens and medical supplies dating back to the 19th century. This institution exists to provide the public with an appreciation for how scientists and medical professionals dealt with, learned about and treated illnesses back in the day.
The Mutter Museum has a wide range of collections for guests to explore including wet specimens, skeletal remains and medical photographs to name a few. Exhibits range from motherhood to Albert Einstein’s brain to the Civil War medicines. Seminars and programs are held year-round.
The Mutter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia is located at 9 South 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. For more information, visit their website.
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