As small as the National Museum of Natural History is large, the Koshland Science Museum serves as a perfect and quieter, more focused counterpoint to the Smithsonian museum’s experience. This museum is about helping people use science to solve problems in their community. High-tech, interactive exhibits aim to provoke critical thinking about science and how it can be applied to looming issues from climate change to healthy aging to understanding how the brain works. A popular feature is a driving simulator on the dangers of distracted driving. In the “Earth Lab Exhibit: Degrees of Change,” museum-goers use interactive tools to devise possible energy policy solutions in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Families who have scientifically inclined children 14 and over should bop by this museum on weekend afternoons for hands-on science activities, like “Energy Efficiency,” in which you learn to use your own muscles to power a light bulb. Check out the museum’s calendar online to learn about other fun events, like science trivia night. The Koshland Science Museum turned a decade old in 2014.
- Elise Hartman Ford