Albert Michelson Exhibit Inspires Young Minds at Angels Camp Museum

Angels Camp, CA…The Angels Camp Museum has been bustling with excitement as it has now welcomed enthusiastic students from Mark Twain Elementary, Albert Michelson Elementary, and Valley Springs Elementary schools. The students, brimming with curiosity, embarked on a special tour of the new exhibit that celebrates the life and achievements of Albert Michelson, the first American to win a Nobel Prize in Physics. This exhibit, designed to inspire future generations of scientists, was a perfect match for their curious minds.

Earlier this month, Mark Twain Elementary students participated in a pilot tour, alongside educational leaders commissioned to observe student learning in action.  The students explored the new exhibit and provided essential feedback to help refine the presentation for future students.  Participating educators provided guidance on strategies to use for future student visits.  The student survey results were informative and encouraging; the students enjoyed the exhibit, particularly the interactive elements, and expressed they would recommend it to their friends.

On Wednesday, students from Albert Michelson Elementary explored the museum. They were treated to a guided tour led by Sunil Mehrotra, a resident of Murphys and a member of the STEAM Advisory Council, who detailed the many chapters of Michelson’s life, from his birth in 1852 to his family’s move to Murphy’s, CA, in 1860. The students enjoyed identifying historic buildings in old hometown photographs and engaging with interactive displays.

The tour was not just a passive experience but a journey of discovery. The students were introduced to Michelson’s acceptance into the Naval Academy, where he began experimenting with the speed of light, and his invention of the interferometer in 1881. Sunil Mehrotra, their guide, explained that the interferometer, which can be understood as the ‘world’s most versatile and precise ruler,’ can measure both the vastness of planets and the minuteness of atoms. The students also had a chance to interact with the exhibit, wearing special glasses to see various spectrums of light invisible to the naked eye, a fun and engaging component that brought the science to life.

In addition to the Michelson exhibit, students visited the Carriage House, the Barn, which houses many historical artifacts, and the gold panning station. The comprehensive museum visit provided a rich educational experience, blending history, science, and hands-on learning.

“We are thrilled to have this educational opportunity for our students,” said Shonna Lewis, Albert Michelson Elementary School teacher. “Seeing the achievements of Albert Michelson up close can spark a genuine interest in science among our students.”

Sunil Mehrotra concluded the tour by encouraging the students, saying, “You too can become great.” His words resonated with the young visitors, many of whom left the museum inspired to continue pursuing their interests in science.

Today, 50 students from Valley Springs Elementary toured the Angels Camp Museum and the new Albert Michelson Exhibit, guided again by Sunil Mehrotra. The Angels Camp Museum offers free field trips for all Calaveras County schools.

The Angels Camp Museum invites the community to visit the Albert Michelson exhibit and explore the remarkable legacy of this influential scientist. For more information on exhibit hours and special programs, visit or call 209-736-2963