By Saumya Chopra, news correspondent

 

Taking  the semblance of  a college campus quad, the Museum of Science (MOS) offered a night of educational excursions for the students of Boston this weekend.

On Friday, the MOS hosted thousands of college students from around Boston for its annual College Night.

Sponsored by MathWorks, the museum offered college students free and discounted access to exhibit halls and 4-D and IMAX films.

“Boston has a ton of college kids. [College Night] is interesting, it’s fun and it’s hands-on,” Erin Shannon, a publicist at the museum, said. “We do this event once a year, and we see about 4,000 students walk into the museum. It just gets better every year.”

Attendees experienced the Charles Hayden Planetarium, the museum’s butterfly garden, live presentations of a high-voltage electricity show, astronomy after-hours talks at the Gilliland Observatory and a new exhibit called “The Science Behind Pixar.”  

The Pixar exhibit premiered on June 28 and was the main attraction of this year’s College Night.  

“It’s very hands-on and interactive,” James Preiss, marketing coordinator at the MOS, said. “It’s a good cross between the two. It’s Pixar meets science. I’m in my 20s, and I still enjoyed it. There’s something for everyone in this exhibit.”

The 10,000-square-foot exhibit explores the eight areas of Pixar animation that help the beloved films come to life: modeling; rigging, making models move; surfaces; sets and cameras; animation; simulation, creating automated motion; lighting; and rendering, turning a 3-D scene a 2-D image for the theater.

The exhibit will be featured at the museum until Jan. 10.  Students had the opportunity to view the exhibit at a discounted price of $6 and, according to Shannon, tickets sold out by 7 p.m. — just halfway into the night.

“The Pixar thing was really cool. You got to see how it all works, and it was really interesting,” Sam Hanson, a freshman veterinary technology major at Mount Ida College, said.

A student at College Night experiments with a pivoting balance, moving metal washers from peg to peg.

A student at College Night experiments with a pivoting balance, moving metal washers from peg to peg.

In addition to exhibit halls, students in attendance could also take part in a scavenger hunt and go on Boston Duck Tours.

“You can see that they put a lot of work into making this event,” Juhi Narula, a Northeastern senior behavioral neuroscience major, said. “It’s cool to see a lot of college kids being interested in science.”

The goal of the College Night is to expose college students to science and the museum in a fun and economically feasible way.

On a normal day, entry to exhibit halls in the museum can cost up to $23 and entry to the Pixar exhibit costs $29 for adults. This annual event allows a college student to explore the museum and have a free  educational experience with their friends.  

“We’ve been doing [College Night] for a while,” Preiss said. “It’s a really good opportunity for college kids to do something different on a Friday night.”

 

Photos by Brian Bae