On Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, UMass Boston ended the celebration of Welcome Week with a free night for UMass Boston students, and up to three guests as well, at the Museum of Science in Cambridge. The event took place on Friday night, and you were able to get in for free between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.. The admission ticket covered the basics, like the blue, red and green wings. There was an option to add $6 on to your ticket price to include admission to The Butterfly Garden, which was a room filled with butterflies flying around. Because the event was after 5 p.m., some exhibits like the Discovery Center and the Live Animal Care Center were closed, which is kind of a bummer.

I went with my boyfriend, as I had never gone before and thought it would be fun. I’ve always heard great things about the Museum of Science, but it’s always such a pain to commute to that I’ve never actually gone. Unfortunately we were on a bit of a time constraint, so we didn’t get to see everything we wanted to. The last room we went into was my favorite, the Hall of Human Life, so I want to go back just to do more of the activities they offer there. They had a machine to scan in and experience different brain exercises while keeping in mind your age, gender and race, as they all play a part in our subconscious mind.

Each room was unique and covered a different topic. One of my favorites was the room that is inspired by all the great inventions that have come out of Boston, called "Wicked Smart: Invented in the Hub". The inventions that made up this room included robotic bees, a particle mirror, a newly updated version of the wheelchair called the Freedom Chair, and more. Guests could take part in the particle mirror by stepping on a designated strip and then interacting with the different effects it had. There were mostly colorful balls that flew across the screen, and glitter or snow you could move with your hands, or so it seemed on the screen. It was very entertaining to me and the other children at the museum. The robotic bees can only be flown when they’re attached to a computer by a string, because there hasn’t been a battery small enough invented yet. The Freedom Chair helps those in wheelchairs get over the bumps on the ground by using levers you can control with your arms. There was even a Freedom Chair you could get in and try for yourself to see how it works.

For The Butterfly Garden, I thought the extra $6 would be worth it, so we went in there and spent around 10 to 15 minutes just finding the butterflies resting throughout the leaves. Because it was around 6 p.m. and dark at this point, many of the butterflies were sleeping and weren’t very active. However, their colors were beautiful when you were able to see them flap their wings. They each had so many different patterns and colors, and it was nice to see them in a natural environment where they were thriving.

A disappointment I had was that all the huge advertisements around the museum for the "Dogs! A Science Tail" exhibit was for the exhibit opening two days later. I’m a huge dog lover and so this idea intrigued me heavily. I’m fascinated with how they think, act, etc., and I had high hopes to learn even more than I already know. I’ve seen advertisements for this throughout the city, so I was super excited to see it at the Museum of Science. It’s no one’s fault, just bad timing; that does give me an excuse to go back soon again! This exhibit opens on Feb. 9, 2020 if you’re interested in visiting.

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