The Canada Science and Technology Museum (prior to May 2000 known as the National Museum of Science and Technology) collects and preserves objects and data relating to scientific and technological history and development in Canada, carries out research, and sponsors exhibits and public programs. Major subject areas include pure science (mathematics, physics, chemistry), astronomy, transportation, communication, agriculture, forestry, fishing, extractive industries, industrial technology, energy, aviation and space, marine technology, fire technology, graphic arts technology, medical technology and photography. Collections total approximately 20 000 artifact lots with 60 000 individual objects, and 80 000 photos as well as associated archival material. The museum also holds the CN Photo Collection, a collection of 750 000 Canadian photographs, some of which date back to the early days of photography in the 1850s. CN donated the photographs to the CSTM in 1999, and many of the images can now be accessed online in the CN Images of Canada Gallery on the museum's Web site.
The museum's OBSERVATORY houses Canada's largest refracting telescope, obtained from the Dominion Observatory, which is used for education programs. Other public programming activities include daily presentations on such topics as cryogenics and electricity; artifact demonstrations; travelling exhibitions; publications; school programs; astronomy programs; sleepovers; birthday parties; and special events every month on a range of topics, from fighting fires to the technology of beauty. Exhibitions, both continuing and temporary, use innovative design and display methods and stress visitor participation.
CSTM has been in the forefront of developing modern museum practices, with experiments in the use of computers, in registration procedures, traffic management studies, analysis of visitor patterns, and the use of the outdoor surroundings of the museum as a technology park. Its expertise in restoration of heavy objects, particularly those in transportation, has been made available to museums both nationally and internationally.
The museum is operated by the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation, which also administers two other national Canadian museums in Ottawa: THE CANADA AGRICULTURE MUSEUM and THE CANADA AVIATION MUSEUM.
Author DAVID M. BAIRD
Links to Other Sites
Canada Science and Technology Museum
An extensive educational resource about Canadian milestones in marine and land transportation, astronomy, communications, space, domestic technology, and computer technology. Covers the period of early exploration and settlement to the present.
Science.ca features biographies of over 250 Canadian scientists, science-based experiments and games, an Ask-a-Scientist facility, Canadian science news, and a Canadian science job listing service.
National Museum collection
A fascinating feature about the historical role of the Geological Survey of Canada in the development of Canada's large national museums. From Library and Archives Canada.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...