Workshops at the MIT Museum

Hands-on workshops that align with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks are offered by the education staff at the MIT Museum. Workshops are designed to inspire interest in science, technology and engineering. Workshops are available for students in Grades 6 and above only, as well as adult and senior groups by special request.

Group Workshops

Times: earliest 10:00 a.m., latest 3:00 p.m.
Days: Monday through Friday
Number of Students: up to 25
Length: 1.5 - 2 hours
Fee (student rate): $300* for up to 25 students and 3 chaperones plus a $25 booking fee. Includes admission to the MIT Museum galleries. Booking fee waived for reservations made more than 2 weeks in advance.
*Discounted workshop rate available for New England schools.

Fee (adult/corporate rate):
$400 for up to 25 adults (including group leader) plus a $25 booking fee. Discounts for senior (ages 65+) and teacher groups. Booking fee waived for reservations made more than 2 weeks in advance.
Availability is limited, so please book as soon as possible. Reservations must be made at least 2 weeks in advance. During the spring and summer busy season, we recommend that reservations be made as far in advance as possible as we fill up quickly.

Workshops Offered: Make To Move |Advanced Robotics | Robotics | Visualizing Science | Physics and Photography | Hello Holography | Fish 'n' Ships | Structural Engineering | DNA and Proteins | Protein Synthesis

Make To Move (middle and high school)

Tour our Gestural Engineering exhibition and find your inner engineer + artist. Participants will learn about elements of motion (gears, pulleys, linkages, and more) and combine them to produce a kinetic sculpture worthy of sharing with their peers.

Robotics: Programming Mindstorms (middle and high school)

Explore what makes a robot tick in this introduction to programming robots. Students use the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and NXT-G Programming Environment to get robots sensing, thinking, and moving about. This workshop includes an introduction to artificial intelligence research at MIT and a guided tour of the Robots and Beyond gallery.
Download pre/post activities for this workshop

Advanced Robotics (only for middle and high school students with prior programming experience)

Learn about current SPHERES research at MIT while programming LEGO EV3s to emulate technologies used in satellite systems. Students will use gyroscope and ultrasonic sensors, and perform calculations to measure distance and motor power as they program their robots to navigate an "asteroid".

Visualizing Science: Abalone, Brass Rats, and Computer Chips (middle and high school)

See the world in a new way! Students use a range of technologies to build observation skills and explore objects from the MIT Museum collections and on-campus research labs. This hands-on microscopy workshop includes a brief gallery tour and an introduction to nanoscience research at MIT. Find out how different groups are using nanotechnology to solve real-world problems in science and engineering.

Lights, Camera, Action: Physics and Photography (recommended for high school)

Make waves, explore magnetism, and try your hand at strobe photography. Students design and capture their own images of physics experiments, using the MIT Museum’s historical photography collections as inspiration. This workshop features the work of Berenice Abbott and Doc Edgerton.
Download pre/post activities for this workshop

Hello Holography! (middle and high school)

Students experiment with light and perception to investigate the basic principles behind real-world holography. Through a series of demonstrations and hands-on activities, students will learn how holograms are made and viewed. The properties and behavior of light waves will also be discussed, from reflection (middle school focus) to diffraction and interference (high school students only). This workshop includes a guided tour of the Museum's holography gallery.
Developed with support from SPIE.

Fish 'n' Ships (middle and high school)

Students design, build, and test mechanisms for ship propulsion in this introduction to nature-inspired engineering at MIT. This workshop features examples from MIT research labs and the Museum's Hart Nautical collection and a mini-tour of the Museum's Robots & Beyond gallery.

Structural Engineering: Building Better Bridges (recommended for middle school)

Find out just how strong a piece of paper can be, bridge distances you'd never think possible, and see the simple geometry at the root of the longest bridges in the world in this active workshop on structural engineering. Students learn how structures stand up and work in teams to design and build bridges using recycled materials. Examples from architecture and engineering developed at MIT deepen students' appreciation of the structures all around us.

DNA and Proteins (middle and high school)

Within human bodies lies a complex system as elegant and efficient as any factory-protein synthesis from instructions encoded in DNA. In this workshop, students learn about two vital biomolecules: DNA and proteins. Students will explore this fundamental basis of life with parts made from LEGOs, digital models, and guided discussion.

Protein Synthesis (high school only)

Students with a background in molecular biology explore transcription, translation, and protein folding. This workshop, for high school and AP Biology students, uses LEGO pieces, digital and physical models, and guided discussion to explore key concepts in molecular biology.

Registration information

MIT MUSEUM   265 Massachusetts Avenue   Building N51   Cambridge, MA 02139   617-253-5927
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