Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago)

Mission

The Museum of Science and Industry’s mission is to inspire the inventive genius in everyone by presenting captivating and compelling experiences that are real and educational.

Overview

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago is the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It was built as the fair’s Palace of Fine Arts by Burnham & Root architect Charles Atwood and is now the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere.  In 2006 the MSI attracted nearly 1.38 million people making it the second most visited Science Center in United States.

MSI History

Facts

Audience

  • In 2006, nearly 1.38 million people visited the Museum.
  • 51.8 percent of visitors were female; 48.2 percent were male.
  • 48.6 percent came from the Chicagoland area; 51.4 percent came from out of town.
  • The Museum hosted more than 268,000 children in school groups.
  • The Museum hosted more than 584,000 guests for free.

Exhibits and Programs

  • The Museum is home to more than 35,000 artifacts.
  • Public programming includes costumed program interpretation, daily science demonstrations, learning labs, lectures, performances, book signings and live video conferences and special overnight events.
  • Major exhibits include: U-505 Submarine, The Coal Mine, Baby Chick Hatchery, The Great Train Story, ToyMaker 3000, Genetics: Decoding Life, Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, the Pioneer Zephyr, The Farm and Take Flight.

Education

  • Within a school year, the Museum delivers more than 300 Learning Lab educational sessions to more than 8,000 students.
  • Approximately 1,000 teachers each year are served through professional development activities.
  • Approximately 200 teenagers have been trained in the Museum’s Science Minors program, which teaches high-schoolers about science and then allows them to share their knowledge with Museum guests.
  • The ground-breaking Live From the Heart program, which allows students to view an open-heart surgery in real-time, has reached more than 6,000 students since its inception in 2003.

    Facilities

    The Museum is housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It was built as the fair’s Palace of Fine Arts by Burnham & Root architect Charles Atwood and is now the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere. Facilities include:

    • 14-plus acres of hands-on exhibits
    • Almost 400,000 square feet of exhibit space
    • Chicago’s only five-story, domed Omnimax® theater
    • Restaurants – the Brain Food Court, Brain Food Café and Finnegan’s Ice Cream Parlor
    • Gift Shops – The Big Idea, The Galaxy Shop, The Kid’s Stop and the The U-505 Store
    • An e-learning center with videoconferencing capability
    • An 800-seat auditorium and two smaller theater spaces
    • Four learning lab areas for special educational programming
    • Convenient indoor parking connected to the Museum’s Great Hall ticketing area
    • Wheelchair and stroller rental and coat check facilities

    Hours

    • Regular Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Extended hours (until 5:30 p.m. each day) are offered during peak periods throughout the year.
    • The Museum is open every day of the year but December 25.

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