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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy expected to be substantially downsized next year.

(Note: Editorial comments follow.)
Having grown up in the Atomic City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee I was a very frequent visitor to the original American Museum of Atomic Energy and remember when the new building was built for it in the early 1970s.

I have been to visit numerous times since it became the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE).  I have very strong feelings about the museum being downsized by 70 percent and moved to a less visible location.  With no family left in Oak RIdge I get back at least once a year, usually for the Secret City Festival and on June 3, 2017 I visited again and decided to document what we have that seems to be lost.  70 percent of what you see here is going away.

In a very quick turn around, the property the museum is on was owned by the Department of Energy and because the redeveloper of the old Oak Ridge Mall was concerned the property could be developed for competing retail the developer wanted control of the property.  The DOE transferred the property to the City of Oak Ridge and the city made arrangements to transfer the property to the developer in exchange for the developer providing a much smaller location for the museum.

If you want to see this historic museum before these devastating changes I would encourage you to visit this year.  All Photos Copyright 2017 Jim Young.

Flag and 9-11 memorial representing the
Twin Towers of the World Trade Center

American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) building
AMSE Entrance and 9-11 memorial

AMSE Entrance

Model of an atom outside the AMSE.

AMSE from the parking lot

AMSE sign with the building behind

Sign and AMSE building

Solar panels added to the museum in later years.

Model of one of the gaseous diffusion tanks from K-25

Main room of AMSE showing a display of Ed Westcott photos

AMSE main room from 2nd floor

Visitors enjoy exhibits

Helpful staff and volunteers and entrance to Oak Ridge
history exhibit

AMSE Main floor

Model of guard tower

Panorama shot of main floor at AMSE

Painting of Oak Ridge Photographer Ed Westcott

Window to the Univers

Model of the X-10 Graphite Reactor

Info on Y-12

Model of the Oak Ridge Research Reactor
(also known as the Swimming Pool Reactor)

Info on K-25 (gaseous diffusion plant)

Exhibit for K-25

Model of the valley showing plant locations

The AMSE auditorium is used for demonstrations
and many community programs.

Starting a program on the Van De Graaff generator
a classic program done since the museum opened

It is hair raising fun!

Kids get a real charge out of it.

Light a fluorescent tube without wires. 

Perhaps this will spark a child's interest in science?

The AMSE has a wide variety of fun science exhibits

Moving model of an atom

Learn about electricity 

Classic Jacob's ladder

You can even get inside a kaleidoscope. 

Mechanical hands

Can you make them work?

Fun for all ages.

An original Oak Ridge house from 1940's
The original tiny house!

How those in Oak Ridge lived during the war

Not a lot of space.

A compact kitchen.

The bedroom

Y-12 Calutron controls

Early pin badge dosimeter.

License plate with Atomic City souvenir cap

Model of the Little Boy bomb that used U235
separated at Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge history exhibits

Model of Liquid Metal cooled reactor

Security portal mock up

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