American Museum of Science and Energy

Our Story

The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE), originally named the American Museum of Atomic Energy, was established in 1949 in a former cafeteria building to provide educational programs focused on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) past, present, and future missions.

In 1975, the museum moved to the Tulane Avenue facility, where it continued to provide the general public with energy information. The name of the museum was changed to the American Museum of Science and Energy in 1978. AMSE moved to its present location in Main Street Oak Ridge in 2018. 

AMSE has been considered one of the top tourist attractions in the Knoxville area, and it attracts about 65,000 visitors per year. Among other activities, AMSE provides interactive curriculum-based classroom programs for school groups and STEM education programs. AMSE houses permanent and rotating exhibits, provides live demonstrations, hosts evening events, and holds spring, summer, and fall camp programs for students.

AMSE is also the starting point for bus tours of historic sites on the federal government’s Oak Ridge Reservation, and it hosts the National Park Service (NPS) programs and events for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

AMSE's Mission

AMSE tells the story of national and global security, science, research, engineering, technology development, and environmental restoration successes that have occurred in Oak Ridge since the very first days of the Manhattan Project. 


To be a primary source for science and education and outreach in the region.

To become a Hub of a “hub and spoke” heritage and science tourism concept that includes other important sites in the community.

To be a premiere user facility location that the community can take pride in.

The AMSE Foundation furthers the museum’s programming and supports AMSE’s mission. 

AMSE is owned by the US Department of Energy and operated by DOE’s management and operating contractor Alutiiq.

Attractions & Resources