American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge

4.4
#1 of 13 in Things to do in Oak Ridge
Science Museum · History Museum
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The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) is a science museum in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, designed to teach children and adults about energy, especially nuclear power, and to document the role Oak Ridge played in the Manhattan Project. The museum opened as the American Museum of Atomic Energy in 1949 in an old World War II cafeteria on Jefferson Circle. It moved to its second facility in 1975 and was renamed AMSE in 1978. As of June 2019, the museum is located in the shopping mall across the street from the old location.
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American Museum of Science and Energy reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
515 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Very enjoyable tour, we did the bus tour which i understand is limited in both number of riders and times of the year they do. I think it only runs 1 time a day but if you can swing it worth the 15.....  more
    Very enjoyable tour, we did the bus tour which i understand is limited in both number of riders and times of the year they do. I think it only runs 1 time a day but if you can swing it worth the 15.....  more »
  • The best part was having a very knowledgeable person leaking the way. He gave personal insight into how lives were lived. I also truly enjoyed our bus driver! Actually everyone there was so... 
    The best part was having a very knowledgeable person leaking the way. He gave personal insight into how lives were lived. I also truly enjoyed our bus driver! Actually everyone there was so...  more »
Google
  • I never had the chance to visit the museum in its previous location, however I can reinforce previous reviews that say this museum is very small. It's also hard to tell what age group this museum is catering to. The front half of the museum is very wordy, mature, and packed with information. The back half features many interactive displays obviously geared towards children. It seems like it would make more sense to have more interactive, kid-friendly displays throughout, rather than packed in the back of the museum. The staff at the museum seemed very friendly and knowledgeable, with some members being long-term residents and/or employees in Oak Ridge with firsthand experience related to the exhibits in the museum. One staff member approached us multiple times to share anecdotes relating to Oak Ridge, which was nice and unexpected! Overall, I liked the musuem. However, it was small and didn't have as many artifacts and relics as I had hoped. Unfortunately there were a lot of exhibits that only had paragraphs on the wall to read and didn't include the physical objects that really catch your eye and hold your interest. If you're looking for a museum exclusively relating to Oak Ridge or the Manhattan Project, I think the K-25 History Center down the road is slightly better, as it's roughly the same size and manages to pack more information and more artifacts into the museum. But if you're in the area and looking for things to do, it can't hurt to visit both as they both have their strengths and weaknesses!
  • Super nice and clean little place. The activity areas were nice (although some things were broken). The portions about the history of Oak Ridge and the atom bomb were interesting, but honestly, nowhere near as good as the old museum. My kids missed seeing all of the bombs that used to be there. They would love to go back however.

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