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Rochester Museum & Science Center Monthly Calendar: May 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


    Café at RMSC

    The café is closed for renovation. Look forward to a new Café at RMSC experience soon!


    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

    Summer Curiosity Camps Registration Open | Ages 2–15 | Extended Care Available

    New adventures in science await! With experienced educators and new topics at every age level, Summer Curiosity Camps offer hands-on, minds-on science and fun, and exciting opportunities to share in new adventures, discover science, and explore exciting experiments! Curiosity campers enjoy unique, rewarding, and fun-filled educational experiences led by certified teachers; interactions with scientists and other professionals; and further inquiry into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics. Summer Curiosity Camps run weekly June 25–Aug. 24.


    Adult Exhibit Tours | Tuesdays May 1, 8, 22 | 2pm

    Admission: RMSC members $3; adults $18; seniors and college students with ID $17; groups $10 per person (six or more)

    Adult lifelong learners interested in exploring RMSC exhibitions at a greater depth may embark on an expert-led tour! Advanced registration required and includes full museum access. Space is limited; tours are not geared for children.

    Featured Tour: The Haudenosaunee: A Local Culture, Past & Present

    Discover the local connections and rich culture-past & present-of the Haudenosaunee people, more commonly known as the Iroquois Confederacy. Follow their story and discover the culture’s relationship with nature, the importance of clan structure, oral histories, The Great Law of Peace, and more as you compare and contrast the culture before and after contact with European’s. Discuss how the Haudenosaunee maintain their cultural identity across our community today. This guided tour through one of the RMSC’s most beloved exhibits, connects their story with unique objects from the our vast collections.


    TEDx Rochester Live Simulcast | Saturday, May 5 | 9am–4:30pm | Bausch Auditorium

    The theme of TEDx Rochester 2018 is space, showcasing speakers and performers who will push the boundaries of how we understand space, use it, experience it, and are awed by it. General admission seating; first-come, first-serve.


    Rain Barrel Workshop | Saturday May 5 | 11am–12pm

    Admission: $40 per family (one rain barrel)

    Create your own rain barrel and take it home—we supply everything but the rain. Water usage increases by approximately 30 percent in the summer months due to watering gardens, filling pools and more. Rain barrels are a great way to challenge that percentage and maintain a cost-effective process. 


    Richard C. Shultz Science on the Edge Lecture | Human Limits to Exploring the Red Planet | Dr. James A. Pawelczyk, physiologist and former NASA astronaut | Wednesday May 9 | 7:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm

    A human trip to Mars is planned in the late 2020s, followed by landing operations in the 2030-2040 timeframe. As designed, these 30-month missions will expose humans to reduced loading; heavy, high-energy ionizing radiation; confinement; and environmental conditions far outside Earth’s boundary conditions. Are the physiological challenges survivable, and surmountable? The answers to these questions will require the thoughtful translation of laboratory science to the extraterrestrial environment, and sound engineering and policy decisions to support these efforts. Dr. Pawelczyk will highlight knowledge gaps and opportunities for human biologists to help reach the most audacious destination humankind has ever contemplated.


    RMSC After Dark: Space Ball | Saturday May 12 | 7–11pm (VIP entrance at 6pm)

    Admission: RMSC members $15; general public $18; VIP: $35 (includes one-hour early access, t-shirt, and exclusive star show); Must be 21+ to attend; valid ID required for entry
    Beer Sponsor: Genesee

    Check-In Sponsor: Yelp

    Special Thanks: Crazy Dog T-Shirts

    Prepare to voyage to the edge of the known universe for a cosmic soirée at the RMSC.
    Soar beyond Earth’s atmosphere into distant worlds and raise a glass to Strasenburgh Planetarium in its golden anniversary year. Together with your space squad, journey across the RMSC campus as you craft your own mini-planetarium, climb to the Planetarium roof to view Rochester’s sky through telescopes, moonwalk on the dance floor with The Skycoasters, explore all four floors of hands-on exhibits in the Museum, fuel up with food and drink at food trucks and cash bars, and more!


    International Day of Light | Wednesday, May 16 | 11am-3pm

    Enjoy themed pop-up programming throughout the Museum.


    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: Science + You | Thursday, May 17–Sunday, Aug. 5 | English and Spanish

    Wash your hands, put on your lab coat, and prepare for the important work ahead! Science + You is an immersive exhibit that lets young scientists ages 2–10 play, explore, and experiment to learn about human health, nutrition, and more. Help white blood cells remove germs from the body, use a microscope to observe and study objects, whip up a healthy soup in the test kitchen, and share your discoveries with others through creative collages. This hands-on exhibit encourages problem solving to help children understand the role science plays in health and wellness worldwide. Science + You was developed and produced by the Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago in conjunction with scientists at Abbott, a global healthcare company, and sponsored by the AbbVie Foundation.



    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 Sponsors: Optimax, Precision Optical Transceivers

    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.


    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 Alien Safari | 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.


    Take it Down! Organizing Against Racism

    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.


    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.

    A Short History of Planetariums Including Ours | Wednesday, May 2 | 2pm

    Zeiss with the Covers Off: The Star Projector Revealed | Wednesday, May 9 | 2pm

    Astronomy on Your Computer, Tablet and Phone | Wednesday, May 16 | 2pm



    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 | Closes Saturday, May 5

    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:

    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.

    Face of Earth 2018

    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.

    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

    70s Laser | Saturdays (except May 12) | 8:15pm

    Pink Floyd Laser | Saturdays (except May 12) | 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



    Summer Wildcraft Camp Registration Open | Ages 8–13

    Experience the art and science of wildcrafting! Discover wild edibles, natural dyes, nature weaving, cobb sculpture, and more. Join in on the spirit of creativity while learning about the timeless connections between humans and the natural world. Participants will be invited to keep a nature journal or sketchbook to record observations, recipes, thoughts, botanical knowledge, and general impressions of the experience. Wildcraft Camp runs July 30–Aug. 3.


    Weekend Wild Walks | Saturdays May 5, 12, 19, 26

    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. May hikes focus on wildflowers.


    Forest Bathing | Sunday, May 20 | 1_4 p.m.

    De-stress and try the Japanese practice known as Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-Yoku, amidst the stirring landscape of the Cumming Nature Center. Take in the images, sounds, aromas, and wisdom of the forest.



    Elusives: The Natural World We Seldom See | Closes Sunday, May 13

    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.


    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 through May 24 | Fridays through 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 and present, 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.