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Houston Museum of Natural Science

Visiting the Houston Museum of Natural Science for Chemistry

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Houston Museum of Natural Science

This is the main building for the Houston Museum of Natural Science. A second branch of the museum is located in Sugar Land, TX and the George Observatory is in Needville, TX.

Anne Helmenstine
I love visiting Houston, but there is so much to do and see in the city that I did not visit the Museum of Natural Science right away. Now I'm kicking myself, wishing I had visited sooner! The museum has its own permanent exhibit devoted to chemistry, plus several of the other exhibits relate to chemistry. Aside from the chemistry, it's simply a very cool museum that is easy to get to, affordable for everyone (has free days) and close to other major attractions.

The Bottom Line

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is a perfect field trip! If you are home schooling, pick up the City Pass, which saves you over 40% on Houston's main attractions, so in addition to seeing the museum, you can visit the zoo, aquarium, other museum and the Space Center.

If you are visiting Houston, be sure to make the Museum District one of your stops. There is enough to do and see that you could spend a week just visiting the attractions in Hermann Park. Several of Houston's museum cover chemistry. The Houston Museum of Natural Science especially impressed me with its "real" periodic table and engaging activities that make chemistry a fun hands-on science.

Do you live in Houston? Why not become a member of the museum? Did you know you can host events and parties at the museum?

Description

This is the entrance to the Welch Chemistry Hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

This is the entrance to the Welch Chemistry Hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Anne Helmenstine
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located in Hermann Park in Houston, Texas. The park is also home to the Houston Zoo, the Houston Garden Center, a Japanese tea garden, a train and a lake that offers paddle boat rides.

  • In addition to the exhibition halls, the Houston Museum of Natural Science has an observatory, planetarium, butterfly center and IMAX theater.

  • The museum is open from 9-5 seven days a week, plus it is free after 2 pm on Tuesday and has extended hours on that day. Be sure to check the website for current exhibits and hours.

  • Permanent exhibits include chemistry, energy, minerals and gems, a special gem vault, malacology, paleontology, the Earth, Egypt, Texas wildlife, African wildlife and the Americas.

Pros and Cons Relating to Chemistry Education

Pros
  • There are year-round educational opportunities for students, educators and groups, such as scouts. These opportunities include field trips, special events, awards and scholarships, training exercises, lectures, workshops, cultural festivals, extended travel and more.

  • Museum has a section devoted completely to chemistry.

  • Periodic Table includes element specimens.
Cons
  • None really. Be sure to set aside at least of couple of hours to see the exhibition halls. If you are seeing an IMAX movie or a planetarium show, expect to make your visit to the museum a full-day event.
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