The Manhattan Project

Become immersed in Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project in this gallery featuring a documentary shown on two screens. After the show, investigate tools used by workers and items that were a part of residents’ daily lives. Learn about the “Secret City” by reading the panels about topics ranging from nuclear fission to housing. This gallery explores the original Oak Ridge. 

National Security

After the Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge was still an international leader in atomic exploration as well as other ways to keep citizens safe. Learn about Oak Ridge’s role in developing of nuclear powered submarines, disarming nuclear weapons worldwide, and creating ways for all people’s lives to be safer. 

Big Science

Ever since World War II, Oak Ridge has led the way in scientific research and its varied applications. In this gallery, learn about projects past, present, and future that take place in one of the local facilities. These projects come in all sizes, from microscopic to gigantic. Learn about research in nanotechnology, the world’s fastest supercomputer, and 3D printing. See the full-size 3D-printed Jeep and take an “air shower” to learn how scientists create clean working environments. 

Energy Leadership

Oak Ridge has a strong foundation in energy since its beginnings in the Manhattan Project. Researchers investigate not only nuclear energy but other forms as well such as water, solar, and wind power. This research has applications in citizens’ daily lives. Come investigate its impact on your life with the dynamic Energy Grid activity. Also, learn about the power of plasma and touch the iconic plasma ball. 

Environmental Restoration

The original work in Oak Ridge did not take into account the impact on the environment. Since then, Oak Ridge has pioneered solutions to past problems and led the way in remediating the environment. Learn how researchers investigate the environment and see the protective gear that they wear while they work. 

The Exploration Zone

Come have fun while learning with a range of hands-on activities! Interactive stations cover topics such as robotics and batteries. Train your brain with AMSE’s iconic Brain Busters. These activities can be done individually or as a family. 

Rotating Exhibits

Exhibit opens March 13 and runs until May 25.

Secret Growth, a special exhibit at the American Museum of Science and Energy, tells the story of the contributions of African Americans to the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge.  Essential to the construction of the Secret City, African Americans were faced with the harsh realities of segregation. “Secret Growth” tells the story of how, from those difficult beginnings, the story of African Americans in Oak Ridge became one of scientific and culturalaccomplishment.  Today, the rich soil of experience continues to produce gifted and talent individuals in every walk of life. 

Presented by the American Museum of Science and Energy with contributions from Rose Weaver and the citizens of Oak Ridge, TN.  Additional contributions have been provided by the National Park Service, The Department of Energy and the AMSE Foundation. 

Presented by the American Museum of Science and Energy 

What: Special exhibit opening: Secret Growth.  

When: Grand opening March 13 with reception from 6-8pm.  The exhibit runs until May 25. 

Where: American Museum of Science and Energy, 115 Main Street East Oak Ridge, TN 37830 

Why: The Manhattan Project was plagued by segregationist practices. In time, Oak Ridge overcame those old ideas and became a place where people of all races and origins work together, creating a truly innovative and dynamic culture that continues to produce gifted individuals in every walk of life. 

May 30 - September 7, 2020

Explore the science behind nutrition, fitness, and the food we eat with Eat Well, Play Well, a highly interactive bilingual exhibit that encourages healthy living.

How much force do you have to exert to burn off a snack? Which burns more calories: raking leaves or mowing the lawn? Explore the science behind nutrition, fitness, and the food we eat with Eat Well, Play Well, a highly interactive bilingual exhibit that encourages healthy living by teaching the science of making healthy food and active lifestyle choices.

Visitors learn about appropriate serving sizes, and discover fun and engaging ways to stay active through testing flexibility and balance. Eat Well, Play Well showcases the latest clinical research, and ways to reduce risk of disease through attainable healthy choices with highly-interactive, hands-on components that make healthy living fun!

71st Annual Photographic Salon Camera Club of Oak Ridge (CCOR)

The Community Gallery currently hosts images featured in the 71st Annual Photographic Salon Camera Club of Oak Ridge (CCOR).  The science and art of photography combine to capture an array of compelling moments, objects, and experiences.

Permanent Exhibits

The Art of Science

See the world through the eyes of a scientist. Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Art of Science contest shares the beauty of scientific discovery and knowledge through visually compelling images. Whether captured with a camera or a microscope, the 2018 winners showcase the research taking place at the nation’s largest science and energy lab.

Ed Westcott’s “Secret City Revealed”

The images produced by Ed Westcott stand as the single most popular record of the Manhattan Project for the general public. Without his photography, much of the story would be incomplete, leaving a great void in the history of Oak Ridge during World War II. This exhibit is dedicated to Westcott’s passion, and it includes some images never before released to the public until now.