A new exhibit, Wonders of Water, opens Friday at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave., in the first-floor gallery that previously housed the popular AdventureZone.
This exhibition, which opened in 2000, closed permanently in the spring.
The new exhibit is “all about water, our interactions with water, why being water stewards is so important to us, and how water has shaped our region,” said Calvin Uzelmeier, director of content presented at the museum. “It’s really about seeing water as a force of nature and a source of life.”
Uzelmeier said the exhibit offers a “great mix” of never-before-seen experiences and new approaches to several popular exhibits in the former AdventureZone, including an interactive water table, an Erie Canal exhibit (and the function of a lock) and a remote-motorized vehicle that visitors can drive to discover what lies at the bottom of Lake Ontario.
When visitors enter the exhibit, they will be transported to an underwater arena in Lake Ontario, where a massive, interactive climbing structure with LED lights on each step will take center stage. The changing color of the lights with each step reflects the changing water temperature over the different seasons and over several decades in the lake. The structure is also surrounded by fish that you will find in the large lake.
The exhibit features a replica of a shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Ontario, the USS Scourge, which sank during the War of 1812. Visitors can board and play in costume, and operate the ROV on the lower level of the wreck. There’s also a quiet place to retreat to behind the ship, with a reading nook and bean bag chairs.
On the other side of the room, visitors discover how water connects us to all living beings and to each other. They can learn about environmental activism, including water conservation, and shoot their own green screen video to share on social media.
There’s a brightly colored water table, where kids can test their fishing skills, build a spray park, empty a sewer, run a tap and change the flow of the river using blocks and toys. other obstacles. A newly constructed interactive display will show the operation of the locks and share the history of the Erie Canal. There is also a gardening exhibit and walk dedicated to wetlands and the importance of our ecosystem.
“One of the things that’s so special about it is that it’s a very immersive gallery, so when you walk in, you feel like you’re in a new place,” Uzelmeier said. “You feel like you’re underwater in Lake Ontario, and next to the wreck of the Scourge, and the new climbing structure that reflects as if you’re moving through the waves.”
The museum will host a weekend of special water-themed activities on Saturday and Sunday to commemorate a new exhibit, including watercolor bookmarking and live demonstrations of the properties of water.
The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Museum tickets range from $16 to $18 per person.