Cambridge Science Festival



  • Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 26 | Regular Exhibit Halls hours
  • Offering Format: Public Event
  • Recommended for grades Pre-K – 12 and adults
  • Various locations in and near the Museum
  • Events are free or free with Exhibit Halls admission; see additional information


Did you know that the world's largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator (star of our famous Lightning! show) was developed in Cambridge? Learn about this and more during this year's Cambridge Science Festival, a celebration showcasing science, technology, engineering, and math in one of the strongest hubs of STEM in the United States — Cambridge!

Though just half of the Museum is located in Cambridge, the whole institution will be abuzz with activities during this week-long series of events. Learn more about the week's offerings in the city:

See below for activities taking place here at the Museum of Science all week.

Photo © Nicolaus Czarnecki

Additional Information

Cosmic Loops: Music Beneath the Stars

Thursday, March 26; 7:15 pm Charles Hayden Planetarium

Celebrate Einstein's theory of relativity in the immersive environment of the Charles Hayden Planetarium. Soar through nebulas, black holes, and time itself while acoustic double-neck guitarist Ian Ethan and Grammy-winning cellist Eugene Friesen play multi-layered compositions using real-time live looping technology with no pre-recorded sounds. Travel into another dimension with live music and the Planetarium team's stunning visions overhead. Part of 2015 Cambridge Science Festival's "Celebrating Einstein" events marking the 100th anniversary of Einstein's general theory of relativity. Learn more about this event. Cost: $18


Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 26; 1:00 – 1:20 pm and 3:00 – 3:20 pm Theater of Electricity, Blue Wing, Level 1

Indoor bolts spark explorations into lightning, electric charge, and storm safety using the Museum’s giant Van de Graaff generator, invented right here in Cambridge! Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

Solar Lunch

Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 26; 12:00 – 1:00 pm Front Plaza

Observe the Sun and possibly sunspots and solar flares through the Museum’s safe solar telescope. Weather permitting. Cost: Free

Boston Marathon® Activities

Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Throughout the Exhibit Halls

Do you like to run? Know someone who does? Or do you just like to learn about the science behind endurance running and training? Visit us and learn more about what it takes to train for a long distance race like the Boston Marathon. Enjoy interpretations with Museum staff and volunteers, guest speakers, and all the human biology-related components in our permanent Hall of Human Life exhibition. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

Cambridge Teacher Partners

Saturday, April 18 and 25; 1:00 – 4:00 pm; Tuesday, April 21 – Friday, April 24; 3:00 – 5:00 pm Educator Resource Center

Join our program for teachers and gain access to all of the Museum's educator resources, plus enjoy special discounts on workshops, store purchases, and more. Cost: Free for New England Teacher partners (a free program)

For Preschoolers: Live Animal Story Time

Saturday, April 18 – Sunday, April 26; 10:30 am – 10:50 am Shapiro Family Science Live! Stage, Green Wing, Lower Level

Hear a story and meet its animal star in a presentation made especially for our younger visitors. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

The Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show

Saturday, April 18 and 25; 12:00 – 12:40 pm and 2:00 – 2:40 pm Cahners Theater, Blue Wing, Level 2

Fun for the whole family, this comedy show is all about the mysteries of matter — including atoms, molecules, and nanotechnology. Join brothers Dan and Joel as they juggle everything from potted plants to tennis rackets, sometimes from atop seven-foot unicycles. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

Meet Astronaut Chris Cassidy

Sunday, April 19; 2:30 – 3:00 pm Gordon Current Science & Technology Center

Astronaut Chris Cassidy has spent 181 days in space, including five space walks as part of shuttle mission STS-127 and as a member of the International Space Station crew on Expedition 35. Learn more about being an astronaut and living in space for months at a time. Autograph signing follows from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

Hands-On Laboratory

Tuesday, April 21, Thursday, April 23, and Friday, April 24; 10:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2:00 – 4:00 pm; Saturday, April 18 and 25; 1:30 – 3:30 pm Suit/Cabot Lab, Red Wing Lower Level

Explore the sciences — from chemistry to genetics to nanotechnology to microbiology — using many of the same tools and techniques as real scientists. Stop by for ongoing activities and conduct real experiments. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

J-Walt’s Spontaneous Fantasia

Tuesday, April 21; 6:30 pm Charles Hayden Planetarium

Take a journey through the fantastic worlds of interactive art and performance. Sample a virtual reality where 3-D dancing figures and landscapes are designed from scratch and in real time under the Planetarium's dome. This immersive musical and visual experience is created by J-Walt, a performer, filmmaker, graphic artist, and composer. Using self-designed software, a touchpad, and a joystick, J-Walt takes computer animation into uncharted territories before your eyes. Learn more about this event. Cost: $15


Friday, April 24; 1:30 – 3:30 pm Outside Planetarium

Engineer a rocket to take a model rover to the Moon, Mars, Titan, or Pluto. Use your creativity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills as you prepare for liftoff! Cost: Free

Science Fest for Young Ones

Saturday, April 25; 9:30 am – 2:00 pm Locations throughout the Museum

Join us for a day of hands-on science fun designed especially for preschoolers! Activities include the Museum’s popular Live Animal Story Time presentations and a talk about baby animals and book signing by author and wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas. Drop in on special live animal visits and activities in the Exhibit Halls, as well as Design Challenges and lab activities — all created with your young scientist in mind! Recommended for ages Pre-K – 8. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

Other events being hosted at Museum:

Soundscience Fun!

Friday, April 17; 3:30 – 4:00 pm, 4:30 – 5:00 pm, 5:30 – 6:00 pm Shapiro Family Science Live! Stage, Green Wing Lower Level

SoundScience Fun! is an interactive sing-along performance designed to explore the science of sound through the magic of music. Sing about strings, have a percussion discussion, ride a sound wave, and have fun! The performance invites audience participation in multiple ways: audience members are invited to sing-alongs and “move-alongs” to learn more about how science is connected to our everyday lives. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

A Little Light Music: Songs about the Electromagnetic Spectrum by the North Cambridge Family Opera Company

Sunday, April 19; 6:00 – 7:00 pm Cahners Theater, Blue Wing, Level 2

Listen to songs about light and the electromagnetic spectrum from a multigenerational chorus, accompanied by a slideshow of imaginative children's artwork and the lyrics. The program includes songs about wavelengths seen by various animals, bioluminescence, lasers, and more and are informative, poetic, and entertaining. This is a performance both kids and adults will enjoy! Cost: Free