City Science: The Science You Live

Inspired by the City of Worcester

Discover the hidden science stories all around us at the EcoTarium’s hands-on interactive exhibit, City Science. Located on the middle level of the museum, this immersive exploration of the modern city allows visitors to investigate the science we encounter every day but rarely stop to consider.

This 2,500 square foot exhibit incorporates live animals, interactive components, and natural history specimens, to give children and families the opportunity to experiment, engineer, and observe the science that is happening on our streets and in our neighborhoods. Experience firsthand that the way we design and build our cities has many impacts on people, animals, civic life, and the larger environment. Inspired by the City of Worcester, City Science features a magnificent three-dimensional, 60-foot long cityscape mural, which highlights iconic structures in Worcester.

Visitors can explore City Science through a variety of activities, from custom-designed computer challenges, live animal observations, hands-on design activities, games, and more, in the following seven theme areas:

City Animals

Who shares our neighborhoods? Animals! See which wild animals walk the EcoTarium grounds at night. And, from birds to rats and ants, learn why some animals thrive in our city.


Learn how the sounds around us affect our mood, health, and environment. While you’re at it, you can also create your own neighborhood just the way you want it!

Engineering Lab

Become a city engineer and design and build your own bridges and buildings. Can they stand up to traffic or survive the vibration testing station?

Mapping it Out

Do you have what it takes to map out your own city? Put your skills to the test and try mapping out the second floor of the EcoTarium!

Health Lab

Learn what goes into keeping Worcester’s residents healthy. Identify the sources of mystery dusts and use infrared technology to design a city that stays cool in the summer.

City Systems

Explore the hidden systems and networks that keep our busy city running smoothly. Go underground to peek at plumbing systems, hone your traffic control skills to keep an intersection running smoothly, and find out how trains bring us the goods we use every day!

Changing Landscapes

Investigate how the changes we make to the urban landscape affects animals, plants, and the larger ecosystem. Solve a nature crime, investigate plants that are over 100 years old, and create a turtle-friendly neighborhood.

Community News about CityScience

EcoTarium’s newest exhibit called City Science designed to discover science hiding all around(link is external) – January 10, 2017 from Mass Live

WNT New Ecotarium Exhibit(link is external) – January 10, 2017 from Worcester News Tonight

EcoTarium exhibition examines city sights, sounds, smells and occupants (big and small)(link is external) – January 14, 2017 from Telegram & Gazette

Developed in collaboration with a host of community researchers and subject-matter experts, City Science is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. City Hot Zones interactive is presented by Saint-Gobain. Engineering Lab is presented by National Grid.