Located in Lancaster, PA on Franklin & Marshall College’s campus, the North Museum of Nature and Science promotes the exploration and discovery of science, nature, and various cultures.


© North Museum of Nature and Science

Franklin & Marshall College founded the North Museum of Nature and Science in 1953. The name originates from Hugh M. North, who was a businessman in Lancaster who provided enough funds for the Museum’s construction. After the North Museum of Nature and Science was built, it quickly became the community’s premier destination for the exploration and discovery of science and nature.

Majority of the permanent collection at the North Museum of Nature and Science dates back to the 19th century from the Linnaean Society, who were naturalists. The Linnaean Society collected a variety of flora and fauna samples that documented the ecosystems of Lancaster County during that period of time.

In 1992, the North Museum of Nature and Science officially became a non-profit organization that was also independent. Then, in 2009, the American Alliance of Museums reaccredited the North Museum of Nature and Science for the fourth time. It’s important to note that less than 5% of museums in the United States earn this notion of recognition and excellence.

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2.Permanent Attractions

Permanent Attractions
© North Museum of Nature and Science

The North Museum of Nature and Science has over 360,000 objects within their permanent collection. The Museum’s permanent collections are divided among the following galleries:

Birds displays over 1,000 birds that originate from eastern North America. The birds on display are a combination of pre-20th century and present day taxidermy.

Mammals showcase a variety of skull and osteology objects that come from Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.

Lower Vertebrates feature a variety of fish, amphibians, and reptiles from the Susquehanna area.

Invertebrate Zoology displays a variety of animals that don’t have backbones. These animals range from historically significant animals, such as insects, as well as simple and more modern animals.

Botany features a variety of horticulture from all over Pennsylvania. Other collections within this gallery include a historically significant collection from Florida that features a variety of specimens that originated prior to urbanization.

Native American includes an extensive amount of artifacts from Native Americans who lived in Pennsylvania. Almost 100,000 objects comprise this category of the North Museum of Nature and Science’s permanent collection.

Rocks & Minerals includes the most attractive, unique, and abstract rocks & minerals within the Museum’s permanent collection.

Fossils displays an array of important fossils from a variety of foundations and collections, which in turn have become a part of the North Museum of Science and Nature’s permanent collection.

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3.More Permanent Attractions

More Permanent Attractions
© North Museum of Nature and Science

SciDome XD is an interactive theater in which visitors are encouraged to attend a show during their visit at the North Museum of Science and Nature. Some of the premier shows include:

· One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure

· Magic Tree House: Space Mission

· Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

· From Earth to the Universe

· Night Sky Tour

For more information about each show and daily show times, visit the North Museum of Science and Nature’s official website.

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4.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
© North Museum of Nature and Science

The North Museum of Science and Nature offers a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. Some of the educational programs at the Museum include; Preschool Programs, Group Experiences, Outreach Programs, STEAM Career Exploration, Science & Engineering Fair, and STEM Sisters.

One of the most popular educational programs at the Museum is their Group Experiences. Group Experiences is a program that allows small or large groups visit the North Museum of Science and Nature in an exclusive, explorative, and interactive way. Groups have the option of choosing one of a few options for group tours, all of which offer a varying degree of exclusiveness and interactive activities.

Another popular educational program at the North Museum of Science and Nature is their STEAM Career Exploration. The STEAM Career Exploration program is a half-day program in which participants engage in a variety of activities that explore STEAM based careers. Up to 30 participants can participate in a single STEAM Career Exploration day. The following list is the four careers participants explore during their STEAM Career Exploration day:

· Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians allows participants to create and operate their own catapults in a competitive team event. This activity explores the fundamentals and forces of physics.

· Aviation Inspector is another competitive team activity, which also explores the fundamentals of physics. This time, physics is applied to a slingshot rocket and the dynamics of flight.

· Food Scientist is an interactive activity in which participants make their own Liquid Nitrogen ice cream while simultaneously learning about matter.

· Industrial Health and Safety Engineer is another competitive team contest in which teams follow a lead engineer in constructing a certain structure within a select amount of time.

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400 College Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17603, Phone: 717-358-3941

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Lancaster, PA Points of Interest: North Museum of Nature and Science