About the Museum

Who we are

The Polytechnic Museum is one of the largest museums of science and technology in the world.

It was established in 1872 on the initiative of the Society of Devotees of Natural Sciences, Anthropology, and Ethnology, with the collection based on the Polytechnic Exhibition’s objects.

The Polytechnic Museum has always been a platform to communicate the ideas and decisions that determined technological progress. This is the place where the gadgets and objects showing the technological development are being collected and well-preserved.

At the moment, the Museum’s building, constructed almost one and a half century ago, is closed for renovation till 2018.

Not only the building is being renovated, the conception of the Museum itself is changing as well: it is not limited to the object collections, lectures and exhibition tours — it is now a platform for scientific discussions, educational projects and intellectual efforts.

The Museum continues work through the period of renovation. Three new locations appeared in the list of the Museum venues: Pavilion No. 26 at VDNKh, Technopolis Moscow at the former AZLK plant in Tekstilshchiki and the ZIL Culture Centre near Avtozavodskaya station.

The Polytechnic Museum opened the exhibition Rossiya Delaet Sama ("Russia Does It Itself") at the VDNKh, Technopolis Moscow hosts the Museum fonds and the Polytechnic Library, while the Lectorium and the Science Labs for children are open at the ZIL Culture Centre.

What we do

We believe that the world is moved by curiosity and creativity. But only supported with the knowledge curiosity becomes a creative power. That is why we regard the enlightenment as the paramount purpose of all our activities.

Museum and Educational Centre of the Museum and Moscow State University at Vorobyovy Gory is to be opened in 2017. The Centre will include the Mathematics exhibition, a number of halls for temporary exhibitions and conferences, interdisciplinary laboratories, science movie theatre and a library.

The annual outdoor Festival of Science and Curiosity Polytech welcomes thousands of guests. Children and adults enjoy the festive atmosphere, meet scientists, attend lectures, exhibitions and installations, take part in science experiments and interactive games, thereby feeling they are a part of the lively scientific community.

The University for Children is a collaborative project of the Polytechnic Museum and the Higher School of Economics admitting students of 8–13 years old. Researchers and science popularizers give lectures, conduct practical training and laboratory work, introducing the young audiences to the elements of real science. The Children’s Lectorium welcomes the junior students at the ZIL Culture Centre.

We reveal the past, the present and the future of science to people. A museum’s task is to integrate the technological achievements of the past, contemporary researches and science trends.

The Polytechnic Library is one of the largest depositories of science and technology literature, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014. Today the Polytechnic Library’s stacks numbers 3.5 million issues, published in 16th–21st centuries in Russian and foreign languages. Since 1921 the Library receives a legal copy of every issue on natural sciences and technology published in Russia.

The exhibition Rossiya Delaet Sama, dedicated to the progress of Russian science, opened at Pavilion No. 26 (VDNKh) in April, 2014. The exhibition’s structure is formed by the Polytechnic Museum’s key historical exhibits, as well as the specially created interactive and multimedia objects. The exhibition Rossiya Delaet Sama becomes the Museum’s key exhibition for the period of renovation of the historical building.

With the project Open Storage, the Polytechnic Museum ranks among the first museums in Russia to make its depositories accessible for general public, explaining the ways the objects are collected, preserved and studied.

We create the territory of enlightenment, free thought and daring experiment. The Polytechnic Museum becomes the center of science communication for school and university students, young professionals and enthusiasts of science and technology progress.

The Polytechnic Museum’s Lectorium arranges pop-science lectures and discussions on top researches in various fields of studies.

Up to 2014, the renowned Big Lecture Hall of the historical building at the Novaya square was the main site of Lectorium. Today, while the Museum’s main building is being renovated, seminars, conferences and lectures run by Lectorium are hosted by partner venues and sites: museums, culture and art centers, parks and festivals.

The Science Battle is a contest between young scientists, where each participant takes 10 minutes to present their research to the audience and explain their subject matter in plain language. An important part of the project is the participant’s preparation for the Battle — before the contest, they take a special training on public presentation and modern approaches to the science communication, learning to talk exciting science.

The program Polytech.Science.Art launched in 2014. It represents one of the most trending fields in contemporary culture, the interdisciplinary collaboration of artists, scientists and engineers. The program runs education, research, exhibition and other experimental projects featuring Russian and international experts.

The Science Labs is hands-on training in biology, mathematics, robotics, chemistry, physics and automotive design, geared towards kids and youngsters. The program includes school classes, clubs, single workshops, scientific researches and experiments, conducted by young practicing scientists. Since 2014, the Science Labs provide special training programs for high-school graduates.

The Science Tractor is a "locomotive" for a number of labs, fully-equipped for outdoor classes wherever it heads for — be it a school or a park. The program provides hands-on classes in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, robotics and automotive design.

The International Contemporary Science Film Festival 360° has been held since 2011. This is a week of independent documentary films dedicated to science and research and made in the last two years. Apart from film screenings, the Festival runs a discussion program. In the course of discussions and workshops featuring scientists and movie makers, the audiences contribute to the search of new ideas and modes of scientific expression by means of cinematic language.