It is no wonder, with the history of Oak Ridge, that the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) calls this remarkable town home. The purpose of the museum is to teach the young and the young at heart about energy with an emphasis on t nuclear power. It also tells the story of Oak Ridge and its role in the Manhattan Project. Located near the heart of Oak Ridge the museum is easy to find and always a great way to spend part of your day while you are in the Smoky Mountains. If you have a young person in your life that is interested in science then there is no other place to go then to the AMSE.
It is in the permanent exhibits at the AMSE that you find the true heart of this museum. From their very own website, here is the information that they give on their permanent exhibits:
- The Story of Oak Ridge: This panorama of historical photographs, documents and artifacts explains the Manhattan Project and the construction of Oak Ridge, TN. A 20-minute video presentation extends the explanations.
- Exploration Station: This popular area offers self-directed activities which explore light and color, sound, problem-solving, static electricity, robotics, vision and more.
- Y-12 and National Defense: Models of weapons, protective clothing and tools along with video and hands-on activities demonstrate processes, safety features and careers at the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge.
- Earth’s Energy Resources: Maps, tools, models and audiovisual materials are used in the exhibits to explore the variety of energy sources, such as coal, oil, geothermal, hydropower and natural gas, found on Earth.
- World of the Atom: A cross section model of a nuclear reactor and a simulated underground nuclear waste storage area highlight this area that also covers pioneering atomic scientists, natural radiation, fusion, and nuclear energy in space.
As you can see they are education heavy. They are geared to teaching the concepts of nuclear energy, the value of science and the scientist that created the technologies that we take fore granted and about inspiring the next generation of scientists that might one day come to Oak Ridge to develop the next big concept in energy.
Along with the permanent exhibits, this museum brings in traveling exhibits throughout the year, they host special events and of course they get involved with the schools and locals activities in and around Oak Ridge. The AMSE in Oak Ridge is not only the perfect testament to the history of the area but it is a great place to take your family. It is one of the best hand-on-museums in the south east and is a gem in the crown of East Tennessee due to the creativity of its exhibits and joy they take in their subject matter. Mark a day off your calendar and make sure that visit the American Museum of Science and Energy the next time you are in East Tennessee.
American Museum of Science and Energy
300 S Tulane
Oak Ridge, TN