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

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New Exhibition Opens at the Montshire Museum

May 09, 2013
For Immediate Release

It’s everybody’s dream—to be able to control the clock. The Montshire Museum of Science challenges visitors to slow time down or speed it up to explore the natural world as never before in the new exhibition Playing with Time, from May 25 to September 8, 2013.

Playing With Time gives visitors the tools they need to see a previously hidden world: events that occur too quickly or too slowly for humans to perceive—the flap of a hummingbird’s wings or the expansion of the universe. This imaginative exhibition invites people to examine these invisible dynamics by using high-speed photography, time-lapse videos, and animations to effectively increase or decrease the speed of the world. Interactive exhibits, natural objects, and stunning displays allow visitors to experience natural phenomena occurring over vast timescales—from billionths of seconds to billions of years. Playing with Time also reveals the tools that help scientists make models, and the evidence they gather in order to better understand how our world works. By profiling scientists, Playing with Time shows that much scientific inquiry involves examining how things change. After “playing” with this elegant exhibition, visitors will begin to see the changes happening and gain a new appreciation for the ever-changing world.

The Playing with Time exhibition is divided into two major sections—Time Tools Lab and the Investigation Areas.

The Time Tools Lab is home to high-speed cameras, strobes, and other high-tech experimental tools that will allow visitors to slow down the popping of a popcorn kernel or perceive a stream of water as a flow of discrete water droplets. The Lab also features an opportunity for visitors to use a high-speed camera to capture themselves making all kinds of funny faces. When they play the video back in slow motion, they’ll be amazed at what they see!

The Investigation Areas, at the heart of Playing with Time, focus on the in-depth study of two subjects: changes in Earth and changes in life. In the area exploring Earth changes, visitors can see how scientists study lake cores and ice cores to find evidence of climate changes over hundreds of years. Unique interactive computer programs allow visitors to make Earth events go backward or forward. By manipulating the rate of change, visitors can learn about volcanic eruptions, glacial migration, and land erosion. The area of life change encourages visitors to explore changes in the human body and in the plant and animal worlds. They’ll have the chance to test their knowledge about which processes—for example, an eye blinking or a flower blooming—take longer.


Playing with Time will be on display at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont, May 25–September 8, 2013, and is appropriate for both adults and children. Visitors may also attend special events and programs scheduled throughout the summer related to Playing with Time.


Playing with Time is a coproduction of the Science Museum of Minnesota and Red Hill Studios of Sausalito, California. Major funding for the exhibit was provided by the National Science Foundation.

Special Programs and Events for Playing with Time

Deep Time: A History of Life on Earth
Tuesday, July 9, 3 p.m.
Earth is old. Really old. Join us for this presentation on the 4 billion years of Earth’s history and how life has changed over time. Through the use of images, along with rocks, minerals, and fossils from the Museum’s collection, we will lay out a timeline to visualize what scientists call “deep time.” Best for ages 9 and above. Free with Museum admission.

Montshire Unleashed After-Hours Event
Friday, July 19, 6–9 p.m.
This summer’s Montshire Unleashed evening for adults will feature “Light Painting” to complement the Playing with Time exhibition. Bring your iPhone, or use our iPads to explore how to slow down light to create fun and intriguing photographs to share with others at this after-hours event. Free with Museum admission.

River Formations
Tuesday, July 23, 3 p.m.
Roll up your sleeves for this hands-on investigation at the Museum’s Science Discovery Lab. We will use stream tables to investigate how the force of water moves sediment, shapes rivers, and forms deltas over time. We will then zoom out and view satellite imagery of New England streams and rivers to see how Earth has changed in our own region over geologic time. Best for ages 8 and above. Free with Museum admission.

Animate It!
Summer camp program for middle school students
July 29–August 2, 1–4 p.m.
Using techniques both ancient and modern, campers will create the illusion of movement through animations. The week will begin with zoetropes and flipbooks and move into stop-motion filmmaking using cameras and computers. Campers will combine science and their creative side to make a showcase of animated short films. For students entering grades 6–8.

Rocky Puppet Show
Thursday, August 8, 11 a.m.
A story of rocks changing over time for families with young children.
Who knew that rocks could tell their own story? This energetic theater presentation introduces audiences of all ages to the way rocks change over time. The program concludes with an opportunity to handle the rock specimens that were included in the story. Free with Museum admission.

Stop-Motion Family Workshop
Thursday, August 22, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Using the Montshire’s iPads and your creative juices, we’ll make short animated videos using the technique of stop-motion animation. Space is limited for this workshop. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the admission desk on the day of the program. Free with Museum admission.