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“Outdated and overall lame!”

Museum of Innovation and Science
Ranked #5 of 28 things to do in Schenectady
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
WIlton Ny
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Outdated and overall lame!”
Reviewed August 24, 2013

We took our daughter there specifically for the planetarium show on the moon advertised "for younger audiences". She is 2.5 and this show was more for the 7-8 yr olds. Not to mention it felt like it was built in the 70s and never updated since. The chairs were half broken ,my daughter couldnt even sit in hers because it kept closing her in like a clam. The "movie" was actually a slide show, No not a powerpoint slide show, like the old fashion slides. Who ever heard of slides being shown in a planetarium?? It was less about the moon and more about astronauts and their equipment. BORING!
The museum itself is really more about innovation that science. The dinosaurs were cool but really not so relevant to anything else in the museum. Most of the exhibits were from local area companies inventing new technologies which was cool for the adults to learn about but nothing interesting for the kids at all. About half of the hands on exhibits were broken or in disrepair in some way. Really unfortunate. I think this place has the potential to be good if it got a nice in flux of cash but I really don't think it was worth the $29. we spent to get in. Really sad and unfortunate.

Visited August 2013
Thank Gabrielle1017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Dinasour Exhibit a must see”
Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

We took our granddaughter on a recent visit. She had been to see the Butterfly Exhibit last Feb. She was a little afraid of the large dinasours,but overcame it when she saw the mechanics of how they worked. She kept running back to "check on the babies". Other exhibits were knew as well and invoked lots of conversation. Hands on fun for us and our 5 yr.old!

Visited August 2013
Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
71 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great Science Museum for a Small City”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

The Museum of Innovation and Science is awesome! My family became members of the Maryland Science Center (Baltimore) about 10 months ago. With that membership, we get free admission to participating science museums. In that time, we have been to the MD Science Center about a dozen times, but also we have been to these other participating science museums: Franklin Institute (Philly), Imaginarium (Ft. Myers, FL), MOSI (Tampa, FL) and finally this museum. I think this museum is great. For the size of the city and the creativity of the museum, this museum wins hands down for the best small size city science museum I have been to. There is lots of hands on stuff and some of it appears to be unique to this place. For example there is a hands on thing to do and the sign will say who designed it, which makes me think someone won a competition and this is the results. There are so many cool hands on things to do that I have NOT seen at other science museums (see list above). They have things had other science museums have too. We were there during the temporary dinosaur exhibit. Those animitronic dinosaurs were excellent.

We had a 6 year old with us and he enjoyed the place. I would have liked to park my kid somewhere and enjoy some of the exhibits without him, but there was no kid parking (kidding).
There was a planetarium show, for which we paid extra. My husband and son enjoyed it. We attended the show aimed at young children. This is now the second planetarium show I have slept through, so I cannot comment. I guess, if you get me into a dark space in chairs where you can close your eyes, I just fall asleep. I don't think this is a comment on the show, just how I react to dimmed rooms with comfortable chairs.

The reason we were in Schenectady in the first place was because we were vacationing in Lake George (1 hour away) and it was raining horribly. It is really worth the 1 hour drive to go to this museum. This was on my rainy day list of things to do, so that is how we happened to be there in the first place. The museum is very popular on rainy days and has extended summer hours.

Oh and although the museum store is small, they have some pretty nice stuff in it. Maybe because it is so small, it is easier to look at everything so I found some very cool stuff.

I think you can do about 1/2 day there. We got there at 10:30 am and stayed until 11:30, went out to lunch and came back for the planetarium show and then looked at more of the museum. I could have stayed longer myself, but my 6 year old does not have my attention span.

I have read some of the other reviews and I don't get it. I thought the displays were fascinating. It is not as big as the Franklin Institute or MD Science Center, but it has some great stuff. I can't imagine why it is the lowest attraction in this city. I would rate it #1. Maybe more people who appreciate science museums need to write reviews. This place is awesome. I even liked looking at the old electrical appliances and fans and things they have on display. GE has been a big part of Schenectady and they are part of this museum as well.

There is no cafe to eat. People bring lunches and eat in the lobby and an eating area. Denny's is a few blocks away, we went there to meet my cousin for lunch and came back.

Visited July 2013
Thank altr2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niskayuna, New York
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Makes a nice effort, but it's a bit staid.”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

I did not opt for the extra ticket to the planetarium, so this review may have been higher had I taken advantage of that.

I was there a few weeks ago to see a traveling exhibit from San Francisco's Exploratorium about perceptions.

We entered through a permanent exhibit of space displays, which were mildly interesting and very well described but not displayed in a very innovative or compelling way. Think high school science fair.

I tried the hurricane force wind booth (an extra two dollars), and it was not an earth-shattering experience. If you do this, turn your back to the window and watch the screen of actual hurricane footage that corresponds with the speed of wind you are feeling. I think it went up to 75mph, but really, it just messed up my hair.

The Exploratorium exhibit was interesting and participatory, and my husband and I spent a lot of time trying out the different gizmos. There was a lot of information about magnetic resonance technology and alternative energy sources.

The rest of the museum seems like a General Electric museum, with more information than you ever want to know about their inventions and history. GE was one time huge in Schenectady, which is nicknamed Electric City for that reason.

Like so many American companies, GE eventually moved large numbers of its jobs overseas, and that devastating effect is seen in the rows of decaying homes and empty storefronts that comprise much of the area.

The Exploratorium part of the exhibit was accompanied by watchful and helpful young assistants who helped when patrons could not figure out a particular display to try out.

Don't miss a chance to go out onto the round terrace past the entrance; not a bad view over the treetops of Schenectady from there.

The GE kitchen display was kind of fun, with an example of what had to be the first model of a motorized ice box.

All in all, I'd recommend this only for those very interested either GE or science, and it's possibly a good idea to go ahead and spring for the extra planetarium ticket.

Visited June 2013
Thank Suzanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Love coming here”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Came here 2 weeks ago to see IBM's new exhibit, Think. If you live anywhere in the Capital Region, or visiting, great place to take kids. Best part is definitely the Planetarium. Surprisingly, the prettiest view of Schenectady is off their patio. Who would've thought?

Visited May 2013
Thank M C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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