Today is the 100th anniversary of the opening of our local science museum. Congratulations! I have many fond memories of growing up going to the museum.
My family had a membership to the Rochester Museum and Science Center for many years. Going out on a Sunday afternoon to visit the museum was one of our favorite things to do together. Back then, the museum was much smaller than it is now. But that never mattered. There was always something interesting to do there.
I remember when I was about seven or eight there was a huge exhibit that took up space on all three floors. It was a miniature circus, marvelously detailed in every way. The glass cases wound their way through the museum. I was (and still am) fascinated by any small version of real life. My favorite toy as a child was my dollhouse, because it had highly realistic furniture and accessories. I used to go to craft stores looking for true-to-life miniatures to add to my collection. So it should come as no surprise that this was my very favorite exhibit ever. I have never forgotten it, nor the way it made me feel as I stood in front of the glass cases trying to see it all. It’s no wonder I still get excited when the kids ask if we can go to the museum.
The other thing I remember about the museum from my childhood was how fascinated I was by the planetarium. We have one of the largest and best planetariums in the country. My first time in the Star Theater was when I was about six. (At least, that’s the first one I can remember.) I was on a class field trip and we “traveled” into space to see the stars, took a journey to the sun, and returned in time to watch the sun “rise” in the dome. It was magical. I credit that one visit with sparking my life-long interest in space.
Because of the educational programs that are offered at the museum, my own children have had the opportunity to be exposed to science in new ways. My son has taken classes on Saturday afternoons in which he has explored principles of physics and even created simple machines. My daughter has learned about the natural world, blending perfectly with the love she already has for animals.
The museum staff are fantastic. We’ve been there fairly often, as we have our own family membership. When we go in, the staff often recognize us. The people who work and volunteer there really seem to enjoy their jobs and care about the families that walk through the doors.
Today, I am thankful that we live in a city with such a place. If you ever chance to visit this area, be sure to check it out. We may not have the largest science museum, but I am convinced we have one of the best. Thank you, RMSC, for my own childhood memories, and thank you for providing my children with new ones of their own.