Press Contact: Trish Palao, Marketing and Communications Manager
Montshire Museum of Science, One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055 

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How People Make Things Opens at the Montshire Museum of Science February 16, 2013

Feb 06, 2013
For Immediate Release

Every object in our world has a story of how it is made. "How People Make Things," a new exhibition opening at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont on February 16, 2013, tells that story by linking familiar childhood objects to a process of manufacturing that combines people, ideas and technology.

 How People Make Things, inspired by the factory tour segments from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television series, offers hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines to create objects with four manufacturing processes - molding, cutting, deforming, and assembly. Many common manufactured products help tell the story of how people, ideas, and technology transform raw materials into finished products. 

Visitors can use a die cutter to make a box and a horse, operate a 3-axis mill to carve a block of wax, assemble parts of a real golf cart, and watch an injection molder make a plastic spoon that they can then take home.

At the entrance, visitors can don coveralls, lab coats, aprons, safety glasses, and hard hats to become a factory technician, worker or supervisor. They can also mold pourable wax, explore vacuum forming and injection molding, and match products to the mold from which they were made. The “People in Your Neighborhood" matching game, developed with The Saturday Light Brigade radio program, lets visitors use audio clues and stories help them match the person to the object they make.

“We see the origins of so few of the objects that are part of our lives today” commented Montshire Exhibits Director Bob Raiselis. “This exhibition connects visitors with the process by which everyday objects are made. We expect that after seeing this exhibition, visitors will look at the things that surround them in a whole new way – and younger visitors may well become interested enough to make engineering, manufacturing, or even traditional crafts, a part of their careers.”

“We know there will be some surprises for visitors when they see common everyday objects reveal the stories of how they came to be.”

The factory tour videos from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood television series featured in the exhibit depict the making of crayons, carousel horses, balls, stoplights, quarters, shoes, toy cars, and toy wagons. They are shown alongside real objects and the processes used to create them. The everyday products featured in How People Make Things include 10,000 Crayola crayons in 90 colors, toy wagons, stop lights, sneakers, baseball bats, baseball mitts, and matchbox cars.

How People Make Things was created by Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in collaboration with Family Communications, Inc. (FCI), the producer of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE).  The exhibition was made possible with support from the National Science Foundation and The Grable Foundation.  Local sponsorship is provided by Copeland Furniture, Geokon, Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, and Timken Charitable Trust

How People Make Things will be at the Montshire Museum from February 16 through June 2, 2013.