Our city is full of cultural gems, one of which is definitely the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC). The RMSC was founded in 1912, so that means in 2012 they celebrated 100 years!
There's a lot more to this museum than meets the eye. It is seated on 13 acres in the city, with three floors of hands on-exhibits, the Strasenburgh Planetarium, the Challenger Learning Center, the Eisenhart Auditorium, the RMSC Preschool, the Genesee Community Charter School, an outdoor Herb Garden, and finally the Cumming Nature Center (which sits on 900 acres near Naples, NY).
You don't have to be a kid to interact, play, and learn here. Exhibits range from science, natural science, and technology to regional cultural heritage.
Inside the AdventureZone learn about everything from the Erie Canal and the underwater world of Lake Ontario, to the weather:
Travel back in time with Expedition Earth and learn about dinosaurs, earth quakes, volcanoes, fossils and much more.
A must see while in the science museum is Electricity Theater - we had the chance to check out the Singing Tesla Coils and we recommend it. Learn about electricity while being dazzled by the music (and lightening) it creates.
Besides all of the permanent exhibits and events, there are exhibits that change throughout the year. See the list of current Exhibits here.
Hungry yet and need a break? Head downstairs to Mario's Café which serves breakfast, lunch, light snacks and drinks every day.
Since most museums can only display a fraction of their collections at once (RMSC estimates that they have over 1.2 million objects in their Collections), it was great to learn that RMSC is also a place for study and research.
After viewing the exhibits on display we were taken downstairs to where RMSC keeps these items and given a chance to see some of the artifacts that are in storage. Kept in temperature controlled "lockers" that open and close, we couldn't believe all of the artifacts that are right here in our city.
These carved ivory and wood figurines are from China and Japan. Some of these are netsuke, which were used like a toggle button to hang objects placed in a container from a sash (obi) as part of a traditional Japanese robe garment (kosode and kimono).
The wrist band pictured below is birch bark covered with silk and embroidered with moose hair. It probably dates to the early 1800s.
... and possibly the first automatic vending machine from the early 1900's, the Pulver Gum Machine...
We even learned about Rattlesnake Pete and were able to view some of his personal items and photo albums:
Not only did we learn about the researchers who come from around the world to study, we actually got to meet someone doing just that - Dr. Jon Lothrop is the Curator of Archaeology at the New York State Museum in Albany.
Dr. Lothrop was conducting studies for the New York Paleoindian Database Project, a research project focused on Native American artifacts found in New York dating to circa 13,000-10,000 years ago. Data collected on these stone tools is yielding new insights on human colonization of the New York region at the end of the Ice Age.
We could go on and on about all of the great things the Rochester Museum & Science Center is doing for Rochester and the world... and show you many more photos, but you'll just have to go and see for yourself!
Hours: Mon-Sat: 9am-5pm Sun: 11am-5pm