Source: The Oak Ridger | Carolyn Krause/Special to The Oak Ridger | January 21, 2021
The American Museum of Science and Energy and the K-25 History Center in Oak Ridge house new and improved exhibits. But you cannot visit these closed museums until federal regulations allow their reopening. The U.S. Department of Energy will make the decision after the regional COVID-19 infection rate drops significantly as the vaccine rollout speeds up.
If you’re open to visiting the AMSE website (www.amse.org), you can take a virtual tour of AMSE (click on “Visit”). You and your children can watch numerous educational videos on science experiments that can be done at home (click on “Education”). You can learn about homing pigeons and a way to make bioplastics in your kitchen. You can see a demonstration of osmosis using an egg.
Alan Lowe, director of AMSE since October 2019 and the K-25 History Center since February 2020, described the status of the two museums in a recent Zoom lecture to the Friends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“Since the closure of AMSE and the K-25 museum last March, we’ve learned new ways to interact with the public,” he said. “We’ve used this opportunity to make improvements in our exhibits and our online processes here at both museums that will make us even better when we reopen.”
Lowe said that some of his staff of eight full-time and five part-time employees have been involved in developing more than 100 online science education programs, many of which are available on the AMSE website. The rest of the virtual programs, he added, will be accessible on a new website the staff will launch soon. He described the new presentations as “live, fully interactive and hands-on virtual classes paired with an ever-growing library of original classroom programs.”