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

802-649-2200 x222 | trish.palao@montshire.org

Montshire Museum of Science Celebrates 40 Years

Dec 29, 2015
For Immediate Release

The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, turns 40 this year! The celebration kicks off Sunday, January 10, with a free Community Open House at the Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a year of special exhibitions and events.

Celebrate Montshire's 40th at the Community Open House with a day full of activities and festivities—design wearable art using LED lights, create streamers and flying contraptions for the wind tube, and craft 'science' confetti to throw when we sing “Happy Birthday Montshire”. Admission will be free all day, thanks to a donation by Peter and Jennifer Brock.

Executive Director Marcos Stafne will make some special announcements about exciting new community initiatives at 2 p.m. followed by festivities and cake.

As part of the celebration, L.L. Bean will offer snowshoe demonstrations and Morano Gelato will have a new Montshire flavor available for purchase.

“For 40 years, the Montshire has been sparking the excitement of science learning in people of all ages. We’re looking forward to a year of amazing exhibitions and programs, both inside and outside of the Museum,” says Philip McCaull, Chair of the Montshire Board of Trustees.

“Engaging our community to experience the joy of science is our greatest aim,” says Marcos Stafne, Executive Director of the Montshire, “we’ve been innovating science learning for the past 40 years on both a local and national level, and we’re excited to move full throttle into the future.”

The Montshire Museum of Science opened its doors January 10, 1976, in the former Golfside Bowling Lanes in Hanover, New Hampshire. Founding board member Allie Quinn states, “Helping the Museum get started was so inspiring. It was and continues to be such a great reminder of the power of community and grassroots organizations.” The Museum moved to its current location in Norwich, Vermont, a decade later and has grown in size and the number of people it serves. Another founding board member, Walter Paine says “we conceived the Montshire as a warm, welcoming, politically neutral place, where all ages could discover the fun of “doing science” through interaction with hands-on exhibits, mostly constructed by members of our own multi-talented staff.” Over the past 40 years, The Montshire has become one of the defining institutions of the Upper Valley, and is recognized as one of the country’s best science centers. 

As the Montshire moves into its 40th year, trustees and staff will be working on a strategic planning process for the future, involving the community through research. “We’re reaching out to hear the valuable input our greatest stakeholders have to offer,” says Marcos Stafne.

The year-long celebration continues with Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering (January 30 – May 8), which showcases an innovative field of engineering that unlocks the human body’s physical potential. Visitors can ride a mono-ski in a simulated downhill race, remix music through a wheelchair-powered DJ station, and discover how a new generation of prosthetic limbs can be controlled by a user’s thoughts. Human Plus was created by the New York Hall of Science in partnership with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Quality of Life Technology Center with funding from the National Science Foundation, and is sponsored locally by Lake Sunapee Bank.

A new series of programs, free and open to the community, will examine the complexities of the human body and how we can support it through engineering and community wellbeing. The events, which take place Tuesdays, March 1, 8, 15, and 22, from 6:30– 7:30 p.m. at the Montshire, are free and open the public. Topics include, The Evolution of Walking: The Perils of Bipedalism with Jeremy DeSilva, PhD, Dartmouth College; Engineering on the Inside: Innovations in Implants with Michael Mayor, PhD, Dartmouth College; Sports for Every Body with Maggie Burke, Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports; and Balancing Brains, Bodies and the Mind with Adam Pearce, Love Your Brain Foundation.

The Tinkering Loft is the Museum’s marquee summer exhibition. Based on Montshire’s breakthrough Tinkering Lab, The Tinkering Loft will provide a much larger environment to engage visitors in designing, building, and exploring STEM concepts through the creation of fun, engaging, whimsical contraptions and open-ended design challenges. The Tinkering Loft is sponsored by Chroma Technology Corporation.

This fall, uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution. These reptilian role-play activities and themed mazes invite visitors to explore the talents needed to study dinosaurs and to reveal new answers to ancient questions. The learning experiences are designed to excite, motivate, and inspire interest in science among both children and adults. Science centers like the Montshire are uniquely positioned to offer learning experiences that are personally relevant, enjoyable, memorable, and impactful.

Throughout history, music has inspired creativity and allowed people to communicate on a level that words cannot. Making Music: The Science and Art of Instrument Design, created by the Montshire exhibits team, will engage visitors in learning about the design and craft of musical instruments, the science behind the materials, and the physics of the sounds they create. Making Music is scheduled to open late Fall, 2016.

Please join us as we celebrate science and innovation, and look forward to another 40 years of joyful scientific exploration. Check montshire.org for the most up-to-date schedule of exhibitions, programs, and events.