1. Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
NASA’s John F Kennedy Space Centre tops the list of must-visit places for techies. Located on Merritt Island, Florida, the center manages and operates America’s astronaut launch facilities.
KSC’s Visitor Complex provides public tours of the center and adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The tour’s highpoint is A/B Camera Stop where visitors can access the closest possible Space Shuttle launch pad viewing site.
2. Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
Located in Chicago’s Jackson Park, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) has over 2,000 exhibits, displayed across 75 halls.
The Museum features a working coal mine, a German submarine (U-505) captured during World War II, a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) model railroad, the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train (Pioneer Zephyr), and a NASA spacecraft used on the Apollo 8 mission.
The museum’s major exhibits include Science Storms, YOU the Experience, Earth Revealed, U-505, Fast Forward and The Smart Home.
3. CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)
European Organization for Nuclear Research or CERN is one of the hottest hub of scientific research globally. Located astride the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, CERN is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research.
At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.
Founded in 1954, the organization has twenty European member states. The place also holds significance as the birthplace of the World Wide Web. In 1990, physicist Tim Berners-Lee and systems engineer Robert Cailliau devised the concept of an information system based on hypertext links.
This is where father of Internet Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal for information management showing how information could be transferred easily over the Internet by using hypertext.
4. The Atomium
One of the major attractions in Brussels, this 102-meters (335 ft.) tall monument was built during 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.
The structure has nine steel spheres connected which forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Designed by Andre Waterkeyn, the top sphere provides a panoramic view of Brussels. Each sphere is 18 meters in diameter.
Tubes which connect the spheres along the 12 edges of the cube and all eight vertices to the centre enclose escalators connecting the spheres which has exhibit halls and other public spaces.
5. International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum located in Washington, DC has over 600 artifacts, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and technologies used for espionage.
The museum houses objects that were supposedly used for spying dating back to Greek, Roman and British empire; American Revolutionary War; and World Wars.
Visitors can also learn about microdots and invisible ink, buttonhole cameras and submarine recording systems.
6. The Computer History Museum
Housing the largest collection of computing artifacts, the Computer History Museum built in 1996 is located in California.
The Museum has three key exhibits: “Mastering the Game,” a history of computer chess; “Innovation in the Valley,” a look at Silicon Valley companies and people; and a Difference Engine designed by Charles Babbage in the 1840s and constructed by the Science Museum.
The place also has rare objects like Cray-1 supercomputer, Cray-2, Cray-3, the Utah teapot, the 1969 Neiman Marcus Kitchen Computer, an Apple I, an example of the first generation of Google’s racks of custom-designed web servers, and the first coin-operated video game
7. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Located outside Los Angeles, Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s key function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft. The lab also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions.
The lab offers free tours which includes a multimedia presentation on JPL, visits to the Spacecraft Assembly Facility and live demonstrations of JPL science and technology.
The lab also operates NASA’s Deep Space Network
8. German Museum of Technology
Founded in 1982 in Berlin, German Museum of Technology has a large collection of historical technical artifacts. The museum has also recently opened maritime and aviation exhibition halls. It also contains a science center called Spectrum.
The museum houses an array of radios, phones, planes, sea-faring vessels and two whole locomotive sheds.
In the year 2002, the museum opened a special exhibition which featured the inventions of computer pioneer Konrad Zuse.
9. Bletchley Park, England
Best known as the Winston Churchill’s secret intelligence and computers headquarters during World War II, Bletchley Park is also the home town of Milton Keynes. Situated in Buckinghamshire, UK, it is regarded as the site of secret British code breaking activities during World War II and also the birthplace of the modern computer.
In 1939 during the World War II, cryptologists based at Bletchley Park successfully broke major codes used by German military and high command and those of other Axis countries. The most famous break-ins were the ciphers generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. Today, Bletchley Park houses permanent collection of Enigma and other vintage cypher machines and equipment.
It was in Huts 3,6,4 and 8 that the highly effective Enigma decrypt teams worked. The huts operated in pairs and, for security reasons, were known only by their numbers. Their raw material came from the ‘Y’ Stations: a Web of wireless intercept stations dotted around Britain and in a number of countries overseas. These stations listened in to the enemy’s radio messages and sent them to Bletchley Park to be decoded and analyzed
10. Moore School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Regarded as the birthplace of the computer industry, the Moore School is where the first general-purpose digital electronic computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer), was built between 1943 and 1946.
ENIAC was capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems. ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the US Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory, but its first use was in calculations for the hydrogen bomb.
Not only this, the place holds special importance as the first computer course was given at the Moore School in Summer 1946. Also, Moore School faculty John Mauchly and J Presper Eckert founded the first computer company, ENIAC, which produced the UNIVAC computer. The 3-storey Moore School has now been integrated into Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.