Looking for a little fun? How about a little bit of learning while you’re at it? For 90 years, the Rochester Museum and Science Center has created “inspiring, entertaining, and educational experiences enabling visitors to explore science and technology, the natural environment and [Rochester’s] cultural heritage.”

Located on East Avenue, the RMSC isn’t a typical museum. There are a lot of educational exhibits that let visitors learn while playing and having a good time. In 2001, the museum and the community created a partnership, taking steps to expand the museum and to add several new hands-on exhibits and programs, including “Explora-Zone” and the museum’s theatre troupe.

In “Adventure Zone,” visitors have the opportunity to learn about mechanics. Using a pulley system, they learn how to lift heavy objects ? such as their own bodies ? without exerting a lot of energy. Visitors can play on a climbing wall, crawl through a structure suspended from the ceiling, be a meteor-ologist in a mock television studio or or use sailboat models to learn about wind patterns. One of the most exciting aspects of this exhibit is a virtual reality tour of the bottom of Lake Ontario.

In 1873, the people of Rochester created a time capsule intended for future Rochesterians to open. This capsule was opened in December of 1999. In the RMSC’s 1873 “Time Capsule” exhibit, visitors can examine objects that people used in their daily lives in 1873 and wanted future generations should know about. Some of these items include printed advertisements, photo-graphs, medals, maps and a letter from the mayor of 1873, Charles Briggs, addressed to a mayor of the future.

A second time capsule was buried in May of 2001 by modern Rochesterians, and people can learn more about this time capsule at the exhibit. When putting together this new capsule, people included documents, newsletters about community activities and other everyday items. This exhibit is a great way to learn about Rochester’s history and the lives of ordinary people.

In an exhibit called “Picture Us!,” visitors can step through a giant reproduction of the camera used by Albert Stone, Rochester’s first newspaper photographer. One part of “Picture Us!” includes a space where performers act out scenes depicted in Stone’s photographs.

After stepping through the giant camera, visitors enter the bustling world of Rochester’s Public Market, which opened in the early 1900’s. Through the magic of technology, period photographs, real artifacts and live performances, you’ll become part of the picture and interact with hucksters, farmers, shoppers and commission merchants.

“Picture Us!” takes its inspiration from Stone’s photos, inviting you to explore the sights and sounds of the different ethnic groups that mingled together while conducting business on market days.

In addition to the above exhibits, RMSC has other exhibits including one of preserved animals. There is a resin cast of a mastodon and an exhibit of its bones. In the “ExploraZone,” visitors can participate in science experiments that involve electricity and magnetism, hearing , speaking and seeing.

In the “Dinosaur and Prehistoric Creatures” exhibit, visitors can learn about the famous Maisasura nesting site, “Egg Mountain,” and watch a video about prehistoric creatures. In an exhibit called “At the Western Door,” historical relationships between European settlers and the Seneca Haudensosaunee are examined through over 2000 artifacts. Visitors can step inside a Native American log cabin that tells the story of the lives of Seneca people living during the 1830s.

The Rochester Museum and Science Center is located on 657 East Avenue near Goodman Street. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. Admission is $7.00 for adults, $6.00 for college students with ID, and $5.00 for 18 years and younger. For more information call 271-1880 or visit http://www.rmsc.org.

Gorode can be reached at kgorode@campustimes.org.

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