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  • Cambridge Science Festival

    Nicolaus Czarnecki

    Cambridge Science Festival picture

Cambridge Science Festival

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:


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! Learn more about this presentation. 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

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. Learn more about this presentation. 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. Learn more about this presentation. 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.Learn more about this drop-in activity. 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. Learn more about these activities. Cost: Free with Exhibit Halls admission

Friday, April 17 – Sunday, April 26 | Regular Exhibit Halls hours


Various locations in and near the Museum

Recommended for

Grades Pre-K – 12 and adults

Events are free or free with Exhibit Halls admission; see additional information