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Rochester Museum & Science Center Monthly Calendar: March 2018

    Museum & Science Center


    Monday–Saturday: 9am–5pm

    Sunday: 11am–5pm

    Good Friday, Friday, March 30: 9am–5pm


    $15 adults, $14 seniors and college students with ID, $13 ages 3–18, free for children under 3 and RMSC members

    Half-price admission after 3pm Monday–Friday


    Strasenburgh Planetarium

    Hours and Admission:

    See show schedule below

    Museum and Planetarium Combined Admission:

    $18 adults, $16 seniors and college students with ID, $15 ages 3-18


    Cumming Nature Center


    Wednesday–Friday: 9am–3:30pm

    Saturday–Sunday: 9am–4:30pm

    Trail sweep begins 30 minutes before closing, weather permitting


    $3 per person, $10 per family; free for RMSC members


    3rd ROC Café


    Monday–Saturday: 10am–3pm

    Sunday: 11am–3pm


    Museum & Science Center

    657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

    Unless otherwise noted, programs are located at RMSC and are free with museum admission



    Show times subject to change. Call 585.697.1942 to confirm. To request an interpreter for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, please call at least two weeks in advance: 585.697.1942

    Girls’ Day with Miss Nagasaki | Saturday, March 3–Sunday, March 4 | 11am–3pm

    The RMSC Gift of Dolls exhibit honored the bond created between the United States and Japan through the 1927 Friendship Doll Exchange by celebrating Miss Nagasaki—an original Japanese Ambassador Doll from 1927—and other objects that represent hope for the future. In continuation of that friendship, RMSC is holding an event to celebrate the Japanese festival of Hinamatsuri, or Girls’ Day. See Miss Nagasaki up close and personal, and chat with a Museum collections representative about the doll and her history in more detail. Participate in the creation of a community mural, make a friendship bracelet, and send a postcard to Japan to express your hope for peace among people and nations.


    Richard C. Shultz Science on the Edge Lecture | The Zoo & You: Connecting Rochester with Wildlife Through Inspiration and Education | James Weinpress, Seneca Park Zoo | Thursday, March 22 | 7:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

    Today’s modern zoo serves both as a recreational facility for families as well as a multifaceted organization focusing on education and conservation. Monroe County’s Seneca Park Zoo strives to combine these attributes in order to foster a sense of stewardship for the preservation of biodiversity both locally and on a global scale. Utilizing the public’s desire to connect with the animals under our care, we will discuss the inner workings of the Zoo and how we hope to achieve the goal of connecting Rochester with wildlife! Seating is limited, pre-registration is highly encouraged, call 585.697.1942.


    Nanodays | Saturday, March 24–Sunday, March 25 | 11am–3pm

    Bond with us as we explore the world of nano through various hands-on activities and demonstrations on all three floors of the Museum!


    Mess-tival | Spring Break Week: Friday, March 30–Sunday, April 8 (excluding Easter, Sun., April 1) | 11am–3pm
    A festival of mess! Discover the wonders of science through messy hands-on activities. Get more than just your hands dirty while you experiment with different gooey and yucky substances. Come back throughout the week to make new art and science creations each day.


    Science Alive!

    Presenting Sponsor: M&T Bank

    Sponsored by Corning Incorporated Foundation

    Science—and fun—are live on center stage! Discover Science Alive! experiences on weekends and when kids are off from school. See science come to life as you explore our museum exhibits and galleries, encounter science up close, experiment hands-on as you meet scientists from our community, enjoy live animal presentations, and more.

    Animal Shows with Wildlife Rockstars | Saturdays | 11:30am and 1:30pm
    The Wildlife Rockstars are a wildlife education outreach group that is part of Bridges for Brain Injury, Inc. As part of their rehabilitation, members share details about live native and exotic animals, birds and reptiles. 

    Live Science Shows | Saturdays, Sundays, School Breaks | 1 and 3pm
    The RMSC Players bring fiery explosions, extreme temperatures, amazing antics and entertaining education to live stage performances in the Bausch Auditorium. Enjoy Live Science Shows on pressure, energy, hydrogen, light, color, temperature, and physics, plus meet Wormie and Mother Nature. 

    Science Encounters | Saturdays, Sundays, School Breaks | 10:15am*, 11:15am, 12:15pm, 1:15pm, 2:15pm and 3:15pm (*On Sunday, the 10:15am encounter is during Members-only hours)
    Science encounters in our exhibit galleries are your chance to check out everything from permeability to what makes something invisible. Discover over 20 different demos featuring Mastodon Toothpaste, Invisibility, DaVinci Dreams, Forces, Inside Incandesce, Smog & Frog, and Nano Rainbow.

    Electricity Theater | Saturdays, Sundays, School Breaks | 12pm, 2pm and 4pm | Tuesdays and Thursdays | 4pm
    Featuring two six-foot Tesla coils, this musical electricity show amazes as arcs of lightning light up the theater. Sing along to your favorite tune as pressure waves radiating from the coils are manipulated to create a tune. Tunes change daily. Our latest addition, the Faraday Cage, let’s you safely get between the coils to see the electricity up close.

    Science On a Sphere | Facilitated Presentations: Saturdays, Sundays, School Breaks | 12:30 and 2:30pm

    A 3-D projection system displays real-time Earth System and planetary science data onto our ‘floating’ five-foot sphere, which comes to life as animated weather patterns, atmospheric storms, and climate and seismic activity move across the globe. In between presentations, the sphere runs on an automated audio-loop. Check it out on the Museum’s 2nd Floor.

    Featured Presenters
    Exciting upcoming programs with featured scientists and science enthusiasts from across the community! Check for details.



    Featured Exhibit | Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code | Closes Sunday, April 29

    Made possible in part by financial support secured by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

    What makes us…us? Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code begins to unravel the mysteries behind the complete set of instructions needed for every living thing on Earth to grow and function: the genome. See yourself in a new way: as an individual, as a member of a family, and as part of the diversity of life on earth. Plus visit with our new geckos (which you can also keep tabs on through the gecko-cam at and learn how genetics are used by breeders to create designer pets. Get hands-on with the experiment of the day or choose an activity from our experiment library. Discover how the collections at RMSC have helped scientists gain new insights and learn why zoological collections are important to scientific research. NEW: Adult lifelong learners interested in exploring the exhibition in greater depth may attend an expert-led tour, held each Wednesday at 3:30pm (reduced-price admission applies after 3pm). Pre-registration is required at 585.697.1942.


    Featured Exhibit | Take it Down! Organizing Against Racism | Opens Monday, March 26

    Presented in partnership with the City of Rochester

    View the “pickaninny” panel removed from Rochester’s Dentzel Carousel and explore the important lessons it provides on racism in our community.



    Dive to the bottom of Lake Ontario in the Deep Submergence Vehicle simulator. Test your strength on the Genesee Gorge climbing wall. Explore Rochester weather. Experiment with wind currents, stream erosion and more.


    At the Western Door

    The hundreds of authentic objects show the Seneca’s and Haudenosaunee’s creative responses to new technologies and materials introduced following European contact. Clan and family continue to bind communities together and define who the Seneca and Haudenosaunee are.


    Earth Tone

    Created in 2012 by Living Lenses, a small group of creatives who make art out of diverse mediums

    The public art piece in front of the Museum, Earth Tone represents our Earth in a spiraling orbit around the sun and the galaxy. Visitors can ring the bell on top of the sphere, which simulates the Earth’s fundamental vibration as it oscillates through space, then head indoors for a different perspective from the second-floor kaleidoscope.


    Electricity Theater

    Featuring “singing” Tesla coils, Electricity Theater is a display of brilliant lightning zaps accompanied by popular music. Visitors watch the dark theater become splashed with light via twin solid-state Tesla coils, and allow their inner spark to ignite as they explore the excitement of electricity and all that goes with it.


    Energy Trail

    Support from: AVANGRID Foundation/RG&E

    Built in-house by RMSC staff and volunteers, Energy Trail is a multi-sensory, highly physical experience where YOU hold the power. Compare types of energy. Cycle, push and pump to create power and discover the outcome. Complete the trail, which covers all three floors of the RMSC, and win a prize! Don’t forget to collect it at the front desk.


    Erie Canal Lock

    Crank open lock doors and operate a tugboat. Get hands-on insights into how canal locks work in the real world.


    Expedition Earth

    Explore your connections to the natural world in this spectacular, interactive natural science exhibition. Discover how our region’s landscape and life forms have changed over hundreds of millions of years. See a full-size mounted mastodon skeleton, uncover bones in the dig site, enter a glacial ice cave and much more. Look for a new full-sized muskox and caribou with special thanks to Alan and Sandy Stone for their generous support.


    Face to Face: Encounters with Identity

    Explore the ways in which individuals and groups express their identities to the world around them. Face to Face brings together more than 350 objects from the RMSC’s anthropology collection. You’ll encounter some of the ways that identity is expressed in societies ranging from the Haudenosaunee in the northeastern United States to the courts of Imperial China.


    Flight to Freedom: Rochester’s Underground Railroad

    Presented with support from the City of Rochester and the Underground Railroad Heritage Trail, a program of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

    Explore stories of courageous African Americans who traveled through Rochester on their way from slavery to freedom. Find out about local people who helped them.


    Forces of Nature

    It’s a wild world! Explore the power and unique traits of our natural world and get hands-on with concepts related to earth, air, fire and water.


    How Things Work

    Discover the science behind everyday devices. Through fun, hands-on investigation, find out how mechanisms such as light switches, thermostats and traffic signals work.


    Illumination: The World of Light and Optics

    Sponsored by G-S Plastic Optics and Tel-Tru Manufacturing,

    Luminary Sponsor: Optimax

    Image Sponsors: Apollo Optical, Harris Corporation, RPC Photonic, SPIE

    Image Sponsors: Glass Fab Inc., JML Optical, Navitar, Sydor Optics, TOPTICA Photonics Inc., Vincent Associates
    Experiment with lasers, lenses and mirrors as you explore the nature of light and optics. Immerse yourself in more than fifteen hands-on exhibits that demonstrate exciting scientific concepts including reflection and refraction, radio waves and color temperature. Crank, spin and illuminate to make light bend, sound emanate and shadows dance. Discover the best parts of working in optics and photonics at the new media installation featuring Andy Germanow from G-S Plastic Optics. Spark a passion for science within as you discover the true wonders of light.


    Inventor Center

    Supporting Sponsor: G.W. Lisk Company, Inc. Made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

    Power cities, build cars, harness wind and fire catapults. Dive into a hands-on exploration of the inventive process. Participate in engineering and design challenges as you tinker with raw materials to create working inventions that can be tested and shared. Challenges change every 3-5 months.

    Current challenge: Catapults


    KEVA Planks

    Come build with us! Construct wooden masterpieces of all shapes and sizes with KEVA Planks, a building exhibit experience. Precision cut, identical construction blocks, KEVA Planks stack with surprising stability. Using only gravity, visitors dabble with physics in order to achieve balance, optimum proportion and strength.


    Nano Mini-Exhibit

    Imagine and discover a world you can’t see! Get the family together and become engaged in the world of nanoscale science, engineering and technology. Hands-on exhibits present the basics of nano, introduce real-world applications and explore the implications of this new technology.


    Native Peoples of the Americas

    Discover the diversity of indigenous American lifestyles as expressed through material culture and the environment. Realistic dioramas and hundreds of artifacts showcase traditional life in regions as varied as the Eastern Woodlands, the Pacific Northwest, the Arctic, the American Southwest, and Central and South America.



    Discover the principles of moving objects. Experiment with momentum, friction, gravity, and acceleration as you send wooden balls looping and racing over ramps. Experiment with Newton’s Laws of Motion. What are the different variables that affect how the balls start, stop, speed up, or slow down? How are things like friction, gravity, momentum, and inertia related to one another — and how do they affect the ball’s motion? 


    Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase

    Created with the help of Capstone students from RIT’s Environmental Science program

    The Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase is an educational, outdoor space in process across from museum visitor entrance, where visitors can enjoy several green exhibits including rain gardens, interactive displays, and more. 


    The Rochester Business Hall of Fame

    Presented by the RMSC in partnership with Junior Achievement of Rochester and the Rochester Business Journal

    Sponsored by Bank of America

    This interactive exhibit celebrates exemplary Rochester leaders who have made outstanding, enduring contributions to business and community in the greater Rochester region. Look for our new inductees!


    Rochester in 1838: Young Lion of the West

    Restoration project made possible by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts; the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor; and the Historic Preservation, Restoration and Literature Fund at the Rochester Area Community Foundation; as well as a donation from Arthur W. Schuster, Jr.

    In this recently restored, iconic diorama, explore how Rochester became America’s first western “boomtown” as a result of the Erie Canal.


    Science On a Sphere

    Sponsored by Harris Beach PLLC and O’Connell Electric Company

    Engage in the wonders of our planet and beyond as you experience scientific data in three dimensions on our giant globe. See Earth and the universe in a whole new way through stunning projections of atmospheric storms, climate change, planetary activity and ocean temperature. 


    Simulator Rides
    Enjoy special limited-time only simulator rides throughout the year. Most* special rides are $1 per person (members included).

    HD Airfighter | Daily

    Hurricane Simulator | Daily
    Experience the power of 75mph hurricane-force winds! Several people can experience at the same time for the price of one simulation. *$2 charge per simulation (members included).

    Lake Ontario Dive
    FREE – Dive to the bottom of Lake Ontario in the Deep Submergence Vehicle simulator.


    Under Construction: Building Careers

    Founding Supporters: Builders Exchange of Rochester, Max & Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, UNICON, John W. Danforth Company, LeChase Construction Services, LLC, Manning Squires Hennig Company, Inc. and O’Connell Electric Company

    Drill into an exciting hands-on exploration of construction trades. Built in-house by RMSC staff, the exhibition features the fascinating jobs of electricians, plumbers and other trade specialists. Maneuver a giant crane on the “job site,” install plumbing for a sink and much more. Also, learn from local trade professionals who built the Sustainability Institute Hall, home of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability on campus at RIT.


    Strasenburgh Planetarium

    657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

    Weekends & Evenings: 585.697.1945 | Weekdays: 585.697.1942

    Shows subject to change



    Admission: adults $7; seniors 62+ or groups $6; RMSC members $5

    Adult lifelong learners seeking an intellectually stimulating and provocative program blending science, the arts and history are invited to this series of weekday afternoon programs at the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium. Not geared for children, each session lasts about an hour, divided between a rich audio-visual presentation and a tour of current stars, planets and constellations using the Planetarium’s giant star projector. Attend several sessions and you’ll be on your way to becoming an expert on the sky! Regular presenters are Steve Fentress, director, RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium, and Paul Krupinski, Strasenburgh Planetarium show presenter and proprietor of the Buffalo-based Mobile Dome Planetarium.

    Connections: Art, Music, Astronomy | Wednesday, March 21

    Preview of the 2024 Solar Eclipse: What To Do Now | Wednesday, March 28



    Admission: adults $7; seniors and college students with ID $6; ages 3–18 $6; RMSC members $3, children under 3 free. Children under 5 years old are admitted to daytime shows only

    Show times:

    Giant-screen films on Wednesdays and Saturdays include open captioning on the screen with support from the Theatre Development Fund TAP Plus program, in cooperation with the New York State Council on the Arts.


    This colorful film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. From the dazzling coral reefs of the Bahamas to the wind-swept seas of Patagonia, go under the water’s surface for a romp with inquisitive Atlantic spotted dolphins, acrobatic dusky dolphins, and the familiar bottlenose dolphin. Follow Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski and other marine biologists as they research the communication of wild dolphins. Directed by master ocean filmmaker Greg MacGillivray. narrated by Pierce Brosnan, music by Sting. 

    To Fly

    Find thrill in a classic journey through the history of flight, from early balloon flights to 20th-century space missions. This film was produced in 1976 for the opening of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., where it still inspires crowds daily. Later, the Library of Congress added it to the National Film Registry for its enduring importance in American culture.



    Admission: adults $7; seniors and college students $6; ages 3–18 $6; RMSC members and children under 3 free.

    Show times:

    Fact or Fiction in Space | Closes Saturday, March 24

    For older children and adults

    Were the moon landings faked? What are the strange lights in that phone video on YouTube? Modern astronomy and space flight have brought us new ideas and images that are almost unbelievable, from ocean moons to black holes. Take a critical look at some of today’s most popular memes, and think about how to decide whom and what to trust. 

    Face of Earth 2018 | Opens Saturday, March 31

    For older children and adults

    Immerse yourself in beautiful photos of Earth taken from the International Space Station and NASA satellites, all choreographed to a musical soundtrack with no spoken words.

    Animals in the Sky

    For ages 3–6 and the adults with them

    Find animal shapes in the clouds and constellations in a story on the indoor sky. Dogs, a swan, an eagle, a lion and a whale! On an imaginary trip to the moon, we find no animals— they are all living on Earth.

    Planet Spectacular

    For ages 5–8 and the adults with them

    See the best photos from NASA space probes and the world’s observatories. Then let “Carl” the star projector make a realistic indoor sky for a tour of planets and constellations you can see this month.

    The Sky Tonight

    For ages 5 years to adult

    This concise tour of the stars, constellations and planets in the current sky uses new, solid-state lasers to guide you through the magnificent starfield produced by the 46-year-old star projector. See this show, then step outside to see the real sky.



    Thanks to its pure wavelengths, laser light provides an intense color sensation whether faint or dazzlingly bright. Our solid-state lasers put brighter and more intense color than ever before among the stars inside the Planetarium dome, accompanying great songs on a top-quality sound system.

    Length: 60 minutes each. Children under age 5 are not admitted to this show.

    Admission for ONE show: adults $7; seniors, college students, students ages 5–18, RMSC members $6.

    Admission for BOTH shows, back-to-back: adults $11; seniors, college students, students ages 5–18, RMSC members

    Led Zeppelin Laser | Saturdays | 8:15pm

    Radiohead Laser | Saturdays | 9:30pm



    View the heavens! The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium offers free telescope viewing every Saturday night from dark until 10pm, weather permitting. Climb 60 steps at the back of the planetarium to view the sky through telescopes operated by knowledgeable volunteers from the Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy of Science, the leading local astronomy club. Before coming, please call the Planetarium box office after 7:30 p.m. to confirm that the telescope is open: 585.697.1945.


    Cumming Nature Center

    6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY 14512


    Unless otherwise noted, hikes/programs are free with admission



    Weekend Wild Walks | Saturdays and Sundays | March 3–4, 10–11, 31

    Join naturalist Shariee Edersheim and uncover the hidden gems and oft-overlooked magic of the forest and fields. These free guided tours last 90 minutes on easy to moderate terrain.


    Star Party | Saturday, March 10 | 5–10pm

    Skip town and light pollution to join us for an evening of stargazing at the Cumming Nature Center! This family-friendly, after-hours event will focus on the basics of astronomy and orient novice star gazers to telescopes, star charts, galaxies and more! Pack a picnic dinner, bring a blanket, and get cozy as we take in the wonders of the night sky. In case of inclement weather, pack a board game or some cards! With multiple exhibits, hands-crafts, and a 110-person theater, the Cumming Nature Center is an excellent space to relax with family and friends.


    40th Annual Maple Sugaring & Pancake Breakfast | Saturdays and Sundays | March 17–18 and 24–25

    Admission: adults $11; children $9; RMSC member adults $10; RMSC member children $8

    A springtime tradition for many Western New York families, Maple Sugaring Weekends return. Join us as we celebrate 40 years of serving up steaming-hot stacks of pancakes at the beautiful Cumming Nature Center! Take in the gorgeous landscape; enjoy a hearty, locally sourced meal; and wander the trails. On the trail, learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Pancake breakfast: 9am–1pm (gluten-free pancakes available); Trail demonstrations: 10am–2pm. This event is made possible by the hard work and enthusiasm of our volunteers. Would you like to be part of the Maple Sugaring team? Contact Vincent Feucht at for more information.


    Skiing and Snowshoeing

    Enjoy 15 miles of groomed ski trails and a three-mile loop for snowshoeing. For your convenience, we offer rental ski equipment and snowshoes at the Visitor Center.



    Elusives: The Natural World We Seldom See | Artist Reception Saturday, March 24 | 10am–2pm |

    Closes Sunday, May 13

    An exhibit by the members of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, Finger Lakes Chapter

    The world around us is teeming with animals and plants and other organisms, but how much of their lives do we really see? This exhibit will introduce you to seldom seen creatures and the hidden behaviors of species in our area.


    Snowflakes Up Close | Closes April 1

    Experience what it takes to photograph an extremely delicate and short-lived subject—a snowflake. Discover the stunning photography of RIT professor Michael Peres and ponder the big question—are any two snowflakes alike?—while exploring the scientific art of snowflake photography.


    Camouflage and Habitat

    Who shares your habitat? Explore the plants and animals in our area in this new, permanent, interactive display and highly detailed mural by regional artist, Mary Mullard.


    Canada Geese: A Closer Look

    Take a closer look at Canada geese and goslings in the photography of Rachel Krebs.


    Leap Frog Pond | Outdoor Exhibit

    Enjoy this permanent play space designed especially for preschoolers. Over-sized frogs, turtles, tadpoles, lily pads, and mushrooms fill a make-believe pond.



    Spring Semester | Thursdays Jan. 4–May 24 | Fridays Jan. 5–May 25

    Forest School recognizes the intrinsic relationship between children and nature, and provides children with the space to nurture this relationship through unstructured play, curiosity-driven exploratory learning, hands-on projects, and outdoor skills development, all within a physically safe and emotionally supportive environment. Through Forest School, students learn to be resilient, self-reliant and confidently inquisitive.

    Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.