Independence Feature: The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute is the heart of science in Philly, providing innovative and informational explorations of science and technology across a variety of disciplines. Examinations of the physics of sports, earth-orbit research, and weather and electricity are just some of the topics that guests can explore. An IMAX Theater and sprawling planetarium are additional features as well. The Franklin Institute remains a stalwart of the Philly museum scene—here’s why it’s worth a visit.

HISTORY

The Institute was founded in 1824 to honor Benjamin Franklin’s innovation savvy. The Institute focused on scientific inquiry, but also promoted research, published a journal, sponsored exhibitions, and presented awards for scientific advancement. Research slowly transitioned to a focus on educating the public, and after moving to its current home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Institute began to produce hands-on exhibits.

TODAY

The Franklin Institute continues to serve as the heart of science education and research in Philadelphia. It is one of the oldest centers for science education in the country. The Science Museum, embodying the spirit of discovery that Benjamin Franklin exhibited, inspires visitors of all ages to learn about science and technology. Whether it’s sports or space, there’s an interactive exhibit for every guest to enjoy exploring. Here are some of the great things going on at the Franklin Institute:

Your Brain

Step into centerpiece of the new Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, an 8,500 square foot high-tech exhibition that shows the power of the brain. You can explore how your brain processes the world around you, down to the neurons-firing cellular level. Or examine neuroethics theory, and consider the effects of memory manipulation and “smart” pills.

SportsZone

The science of sports comes alive in this 3,600-square-foot exhibition with 21 interactive experiences. Science, technology, and engineering in physical activities come together in various displays, media, and augmented reality stations. At Athletes in Action, guests can compete in a 40-foot dash against virtual sports stars like Jordan Matthews or speed skater Brian Talley.

Jurassic World: The Exhibition

The Institute’s newest exhibit, Jurassic World, transports audiences to scenes inspired by the film and brings them closer to dinosaurs than ever before. Towering dinos like the Tyrannosaurus rex and Brachiosaurus were created in collaboration with paleontologist Jack Horner. Visitors can also learn about these prehistoric animals.