Title: Next-Generation Erie Canal Exhibit Puts Power of Real Working Locks into the Hands of Visitors at Rochester Museum & Science Center
Date: Exhibit opens Friday, November 15, 2013
Location: 657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
Detailed Information: www.rmsc.org; Facebook; Twitter; YouTube
Media Contact: Debra Jacobson, Director of Marketing and Community Affairs
Next-Generation Erie Canal Exhibit Puts Power of Real Working Locks into the Hands of Visitors at Rochester Museum & Science Center
ROCHESTER, NY—Visitors to the Rochester Museum & Science Center get a hands-on understanding of how canal locks work in the real world with the next-generation Erie Canal Lock exhibit. Built by the RMSC volunteers and staff, chiefly the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) volunteers, the new permanent exhibit features several enhancements made to the Museum's previous Eric Canal Lock exhibit. The new exhibit is now open to the public in the RMSC AdventureZone exhibition.
"The Erie Canal Lock exhibit is a visitor favorite and its impressive rebuild is sure to engage visitors even more than before," said Kate Bennett, president, RMSC. "Visitors have the opportunity to learn about gravity— the powerful driving force that makes lock operation possible, enjoy one of Rochester's greatest historic feats of engineering and have fun."
The new Erie Canal Lock exhibit, modeled exactly after the Barge Canal of the Eric Canal, features a host of exciting updates. Enhancements include six computers to control the system, a new tugboat, improved lighting, new plumbing and electrical systems, oversized pumps, a water purification system containing improved filtration, a UV bacterial lamp, a cover over the entire exhibit and higher reliability overall, among other updates. New surrounding scenery includes a working diesel locomotive, buildings and trees. Soon, RMSC collections objects that relate to the Eric Canal will be included in the exhibit.
Visitors control several parts of the 7-foot by 14-foot exhibit. A joystick operates a tugboat. When the tugboat is driven around to the lock door, visitors open the door to let the boat in, then close the door behind it so the boat is between two doors. Then, visitors can either lower or raise the water by opening valves. All piping that runs water into or out of the lock is transparent, so visitors can see the water flow. When the water is even on both sides of the second door, a green light turns on and visitors can then turn a crank to open the doors. Visitors then let the boat through while the doors close behind it. Also, the locomotive drives around its track on the land above the canal at the press of a button.
More than one dozen volunteers contributed thousands of hours during the span of two years to design and complete construction of the Erie Canal Lock exhibit. The volunteers, members of TAG, worked side by side with staff. TAG is a talented volunteer organization of retired scientists, engineers, educators and craftsmen who make many of RMSC's permanent exhibits possible.
"This lock exhibit is authentic and captivating—it operates exactly like the real thing," said Jim Meyer, RMSC Board of Trustees and TAG member. "We are excited to give visitors the opportunity to get a hands-on experience of how locks function."
The Erie Canal Lock exhibit was funded in part by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
Admission to the Eric Canal Lock exhibit is free with regular Museum admission: $13 adults, $12 seniors and college students with ID, $11 ages 3 to 18, free for RMSC members and children under 3. For group reservations and rates, call 585.697.1942.
The RMSC is open seven days a week. Regular hours are Sunday, 11am to 5pm and Monday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm. The RMSC is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28. Museum exhibitions are also closed on Friday, November 22 through Sunday, November 24 to make room for the RMSC Women's Council Holiday Bazaar Arts & Crafts Sale. Visit www.rmsc.org for more information.
For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Debra Jacobson, Director of Marketing and Community Affairs, RMSC at 585.697.1944 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit www.rmsc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.