Cambridge Science Festival

April 13 - 22, 2018

Every April the MIT Museum presents the Cambridge Science Festival in collaboration with the City of Cambridge, community organizations, schools, universities, and businesses. Come to the Museum and enjoy a week filled with workshops, hands-on activities, demonstrations, tours and more. 

Thank you for your interest in our workshops, however they are now SOLD OUT.  Workshop participants must sign this release form.

Apr 14 | Apr 15 | Apr 16 | Apr 17 | Apr 18 | Apr 19 | Apr 20 | Apr 21 | Apr 22

Saturday, April 14

Magic of Chemistry Workshop with MIT SWE
April 14, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
$12 (includes Museum admission) - SOLD OUT
Girls, ages 10-12

Oh no! A wizard accidentally turned himself into a cow, and needs your help in making a potion to turn him back. Try to get the recipe right, but be careful—mixing two liquids can have unusual effects! Join MIT’s Society of Women Engineers to explore the magic of chemistry and engineering.
 

Creative Kinetic Sculptures
April 14, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

Explore the interface of art and engineering by creating a unique moving art piece engineered to move with gears, cams, linkages, and pulleys. 30-minute sessions available with on-site sign-up.

 

Youth Gamelan Musical Workshop
April 14, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
$12 (includes Museum admission). Pre-registration required.
Grades 4-10

Try your hand at playing the bright, percussive gamelan instruments of Bali, Indonesia in this 90-minute workshop. Learn to play the metallophones, gongs, hand drums, and cymbals, then enjoy short demonstrations by members of Gamelan Anak Tika and MIT's professional Balinese gamelan ensemble, Gamelan Galak Tika. No prior experience necessary.
Register

 

Girl-Powered Smart Devices
April 14, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
$25 (includes Museum admission) - SOLD OUT
Girls, ages 12-15

Explore, create and code. Build a smart device and app with the help of a device kit developed by MIT graduate Larissa Nietner, and go home with your own high-tech accessories. No experience needed.

 

The Hackable Museum
April 14, 7 - 9 pm
Free
Ages 16+

When museums make their collections accessible, it opens up myriad possibilities to create games, toys, designs, and other creative uses. Come for an evening to talk about and demo museum APIs and collections databases with museum hackers from various institutes around Cambridge and Boston. Share your ideas on how to improve, redesign and reimagine these systems.

 

Sunday, April 15

Creative Kinetic Sculptures
April 15, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

Explore the interface of art and engineering by creating a unique moving art piece engineered to move with gears, cams, linkages, and pulleys. 30-minute sessions available with on-site sign-up.

 

Science Game Night for Families
April 15, 6:00 - 8:30 pm
$7.50/per person, $20/group (up to 4 people ages 10+) - SOLD OUT
Families, Teens, Adults

Learn about science through board games! Enjoy an evening of science-themed games, and compete to see how your science knowledge stacks up. MIT’s Mikael Jakobsson will join us to explain the “mean mechanics” of games and how these can be used to benefit players.

 

Monday, April 16

Newspaper Skyscrapers – An Engineering Challenge
April 16, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens

Test your engineering skills while you compete against others to construct the tallest, free-standing newspaper tower.

 

Robots and Beyond Mini Tours
April 16, 10:15 - 10:45 am, 11:00 - 11:30 am, 12:30 - 1:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families with children under age 12

Is your child crazy about robots? Come explore the MIT Museum’s robots gallery with Debbie Douglas, Science & Technology Curator, as she introduces you to Kismet, Cog, and others.

Limited to 25 participants per tour. Families with children under age 12 only. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis, 15 minutes before tour start times.

 

Quantum Dots Workshop
April 16, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
$12 (includes Museum admission) - SOLD OUT
Grades 6-8

Curious about quantum dots? Want to learn why they are used in sunscreen and TVs? This hands-on workshop explores the connection between these nanoparticles and their potential to improve everything from medicine to solar cells.

 

Mathternoon @ the MIT Museum
April 16, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

Try your hand (and mind) at a variety of analytical explorations, including paper folding, slide rules from the Museum's collections, and graph theory challenges during this fun, numerically-replete afternoon.

 

Tuesday, April 17

Chain Reaction FUNstruction
April 17, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

Create a unique chain reaction contraption with items such as ramps, string, tape, and motors.  Visitors will work in teams to design and build parts of a contraption, with the aim of connecting all the links to create a giant chain reaction!

 

Guided Tour: Exhibition Planning
April 17, 11:00  - 11:30 am, 11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Adults, Teens ages 16+

Join Ann Neumann, Director of Galleries and Exhibitions, as she shares how an idea becomes gallery reality, while taking a sneak peak at the ongoing installation of the Museum’s upcoming exhibition, The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

Limited to 25 participants per tour. Tickets available 30 minutes before tour start times on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

3D Printing and Design
April 17, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

Learn how to design in three dimensions using Tinkercad, and see how 3-D printers can turn digital models into reality. 30-minute sessions available with on-site sign-ups.

 

Wednesday, April 18

Digital Play Day: New Ways to Interface with Technology
April 18, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

The next generation of gaming is all about immersion. Spend the day with researchers and game developers from MIT and greater Boston as they show off what’s next in virtual and augmented reality. Learn about how these technologies are being applied to education, film, and more.

Participants include:

 

Become a Data Wizard! Workshop
April 18, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
$12 (includes Museum admission) - SOLD OUT
Grades 6-8

Test your math magic as you explore how data changes over time in this statistics workshop for middle school students. Experiment with your fellow apprentices, simulate a random walk, and dive into graphs on your journey to become a data wizard.

 

Guided Tour: György Kepes Photographs: The MIT Years, 1946-1985
April 18, 2:00 - 2:30 pm
Included with Museum admission
Teens, Adults

Take a tour with Architecture & Design Curator, Gary Van Zante, and explore the photographs of György Kepes, MIT Professor and founder of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

Limited to 25 participants. Tickets available 30 minutes before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Self-Driving (LEGO) Vehicles: An Introductory Workshop for Adults
April 18, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
$15/person - SOLD OUT
Adults 18+

Autonomous vehicles are coming. Are you ready? Learn how to program a LEGO vehicle to better understand how researchers are programming self-driving cars, and meet MIT’s Leilani Gilpin, who is actively working on the future of transportation. No programming skills needed.

 

Thursday, April 19

3D Printing and Design Workshop
April 19, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
$12 (includes Museum admission) - SOLD OUT
Teens 14+, Adults

Are you ready to take your 3D design skills to the next level? In this workshop, learn how to use advanced CAD software to make your own 3D printable creations.
 

 

Guided Tour: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies
April 19, 2:00 - 2:30 pm
Included with Museum admission
Teens, Adults

Explore avant garde works by MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) research fellows, students and professors with light artist and MIT Museum Studio Manager, Seth Riskin as your guide.

Limited to 25 participants. Tickets available 30 minutes before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Friday, April 20

Nautical Day
April 20, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

Join scientists from MIT and many other ocean-focused organizations to learn about efforts to better understand our planet. Get to see the latest advances in oceanographic science, talk with individuals working in the field, and dive into some hands-on nautical explorations.

 

Guided Tour: Gestural Engineering
April 20, 2:00 - 2:30 pm
Included with Museum admission
Teens, Adults

Join Director John Durant to explore the work of kinetic artist Arthur Ganson, whose moving sculptures are among the most beloved objects in the MIT Museum.

Limited to 25 participants - teens and adults only. Tickets available 30 minutes before tour start on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

SoundScience Fun!
April 20, 3:15-4:00 pm & 4:00-4:45 pm
Included with Museum admission
Families, Teens, Adults

SoundScience Fun! is an interactive sing along performance designed to explore the science of sound through the magic of music. Together we’ll sing about strings, have a percussion discussion, ride a sound wave, and have fun! Join the chorus and enjoy demos that help demonstrate the science of sound.

 

Saturday, April 21

Iron Builder "Chain Reaction Link" Competition
April 21, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
$20/team for up to 5 team members (includes Museum admission) Pre-registration required.
Teens, Adults

Have you built awe-inspiring chain reactions and delighted your friends? Or, want to challenge your building skills? Then register your team and compete for Chain Reaction glory! Teams will receive a box of materials, building prompt, and have two hours to impress judges and spectators.
Register

 

Synthetic Biology for the Real World Workshop I
April 21, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Part I of two-day workshop April 21, 22)
$18 (includes Museum admission) Participants must attend Workshops I & II - SOLD OUT
High school students only

Have you heard about things like CRISPR or 23andme in the news and wonder what they are? Come learn about the world of synthetic biology and its applications in this two-day workshop. You'll learn the basics of DNA and use this knowledge to synthesize your own fluorescent proteins, biomaterials, and more.
 

 

Scratch
April 21, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Ages 10+

Learn the basics of programming by designing your own video game or animation using the block-based language, Scratch. 30-minute sessions available with on-site sign-ups.

 

Living Space: A Teen Science Café
April 21, 6:00 - 8:30 pm
Free with pre-registration. Dinner provided.
High school students only

Is Earth the only planet humans will ever call home? Learn about the search for habitable exoplanets and join in a conversation with MIT researchers about how we might survive on them.
Pre-register online

 

Sunday, April 22

Synthetic Biology for the Real World Workshop II
April 22, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (Part II of two-day workshop April 21, 22)
$18 (includes Museum admission) Participants must attend Workshops I & II - SOLD OUT
High school students only

Have you heard about things like CRISPR or 23andme in the news and wonder what they are? Come learn about the world of synthetic biology and its applications in this two-day workshop. You'll learn the basics of DNA and use this knowledge to synthesize your own fluorescent proteins, biomaterials, and more.
 

 

Scratch
April 22, 12:00 - 4:00 pm
Included with Museum admission
Ages 10+

Learn the basics of programming by designing your own video game or animation using the block-based language, Scratch. 30-minute sessions available with on-site sign-ups.

Visit the Cambridge Science Festival website for more information on city-wide events.