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“Chemistry Comes Alive”

Chemical Heritage Foundation
Ranked #96 of 450 things to do in Philadelphia
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Owner description: The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) fosters an understanding of chemistry’s impact on society. An independent, nonprofit organization, CHF maintains major collections of instruments, fine art, photographs, papers, and books. We host conferences and lectures, support research, offer fellowships, and produce educational materials. Our museum and public programs explore subjects ranging from alchemy to nanotechnology.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
164 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Chemistry Comes Alive”
Reviewed March 28, 2013

I wish chemistry was explained like this when I went to school. The Periodic Table comes alive on a huge 3D screen, demonstrating characteristics and uses of the elements. It's mesmerizing! The museum provides an interesting historic overview of chemistry, equipment and end products. The current photographic exhibit is remarkable. This museum is entertaining for any age group, but especially inspiring for students.

Visited March 2013
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2 Thank SeeitAll728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

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English first
Leuven, Belgium
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice but small”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Nice free (gifts welcomed) exhibition with old chemical and biochemical "stuff" (mostly 1950+).
Not very big though and the explanations are rather superficial. Explanation boards could be better.
If you're a scientist (like me) and you know what you're looking at, quite nice however.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Benjamien
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“For an Unusual Approach to Science, visit the Chemical Heritage Foundation”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

For an interesting and unusual approach to teaching people about chemistry, pay a visit to the Chemical Heritage Foundation museum. There are interesting exhibits and artifacts that bring the history of chemistry to life. Video and other technologies are used well to enhance viewers' experience. On one visit, I heard several artists talking about the chemical aspects of there works. This small museum in a nondescript building is worth a visit.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Martin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Metuchen, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Little Gem”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

This little museum tucked into the foundation was great! The docent was friendly and helpful. The exhibits about the history of chemistry were very interesting. There was also a two story high video of the elements which my 10 year old son couldn't stop watching. Passed by this place a million times and finally stopped in. Glad I did!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Amytf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southeastern pa
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed October 15, 2008

A museum dedicated to the history of chemistry is a fabulous idea and, if well done, could bring in many visitors. Unfortunately, the museum at the Chemical Heritage Foundation does not live up to expectations. The largest problem is that the exhibits lack narrative continuity. A display about plastics might be located next to a display about DNA, which is next to a display about alchemy. The result is a hodge-podge of information which doesn't build on knowledge you might acquire if the set-up had been chronologically linear.
The museum is also quite low-tech--there's nothing to experiment with or any sort of hands-on exhibits. Many items are displayed without any explanation of what they might be or what they are used for. There was one interesting video display using the periodic table, but no explanation about what the periodic table is or why it's arranged the way it is and so on.
The museum is free (good thing because I would have hated to spend money in there). There is no gift shop (pity--it would be fun to buy Periodic Table napkins or atomic playing cards). It's only open M-F from 10-4, so it's not a good weekend destination. There are many other places in Philly to visit, and I wouldn't recommend this one for anybody.

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3 Thank hiflyer_8
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