Optical Science Center and Museum


Optical science is used by engineers in virtually every field, from surveying equipment to the computer monitor on which CAD/CAM software is displayed. The history of optics and the technological achievements in this field are the focus of this museum. Visitors can learn about engineers, scientists, and inventors such as Isaac Newton, who discovered the refractive properties of light and invented the reflecting telescope, and Benjamin Franklin, whose portraits often show him wearing the bifocals he invented. The museum also shows how contact lenses, eyeglasses, and artificial eyes are made and presents five different videos about vision.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing, Other
Topic(s):Technology/Materials
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:One of the most popular forms of entertainment in the U.S. in 1881-1939 was the stereoscope. It relies on our binocular vision to create a 3D image when, in fact, we are looking at two, slightly different pictures. Invented in England in 1832, the later American version benefited from stereophotographic technology to create postcard-quality scenes.