Discover Steampunk

A fantastical hands-on adventure!

On display through August 18

Level 1
Included with Admission
8 and up
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A Hands-On Adventure

How did thinkers of the late 1800s envision the future? Find out in Discover Steampunk, a hands-on touring exhibition showcasing the fusion of art, history and technology. Guests learn about 19-century innovators while experimenting with more than 20 interactive machines inspired by their ideas. Explore electricity with Mary Shelley, ocean depths with Jules Verne, the dawn of photography with George Eastman, household appliances with Isaac Singer and time travel with H. G. Wells.

Visionaries ages 8 and up will appreciate both the unique Victorian-inspired aesthetic of the exhibition as well as the important science concepts of ingenuity, collaboration, resilience and creative problem solving it showcases.

Discover Steampunk is on display through August 18. It is included with Science Museum admission.  

Discover the fantastical hands-on adventure in Discover Steampunk, on display February 10–August 18, 2024. Explore booking your group adventure here.

Looking to connect Discover Steampunk to your curriculum? Check out this educator's guide for some ideas!

This feature corresponds with the following SOLs:

  • 4th Grade: 1
  • 5th Grade: 2 and 4
  • 6th Grade: 1
  • Physical Science: 1 and 9
  • Physics: 1, 4, 7 and 8
A photograph of a decorative sign at the Virginia Aquarium for the Discover Steampunk exhibit. The sign reads "Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure

Image Courtesy of Virginia Aquarium

The Science Museum is offering a variety of complementary programming for Discover Steampunk throughout the building this spring. Guests can watch live brain dissection demos, explore electricity with the Van de Graaff generator, see how steam-powered toys operate, create spirograph art with different-size gears, build clocks and use sewing machines in The Forge and more. Check the daily schedule to see what is being offered during your visit.

photo of a static electricity exhibit
Image Courtesy of Virginia Aquarium
Photo of a child exploring a demonstration of static electricity
Image Courtesy of Virginia Aquarium
Decorative image from Steam Punk Touring Exhibition
Image Courtesy of Virginia Aquarium
Decorative image of a mannequin from the Steam Punk exhibition
Image Courtesy of National Museum of the U.S Air Force
Decorative image of item from the Steam Punk Touring exhibition
Image Courtesy of Virginia Aquarium
A photo of a art sculpture referred to as a Humachine from the Steam Punk touring exhibition