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The Montshire Museum of Science is an interactive science center in Norwich, Vermont, with more than 150 hands-on exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Outdoors, visitors can explore nature trails and exhibits on wind, water, and sound in David Goudy Science Park. Visiting exhibitions, educational programs, and special events are offered throughout the year.


Montshire’s New Exhibition Offers a Fun Way to Learn about Engineering

On Saturday, September 30, 2017, the Montshire Museum of Science will open Playing Around: Engineering and Toys, a new exhibition that offers a fun and different way to learn about the science and technology of something we all love — TOYS!

Playing Around feeds the imagination, engages the senses, and introduces concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through the creative and entertaining act of play. This special exhibition consists of three components that explain and demonstrate engineering in distinct ways.

  • Toys: The Inside Story - Get a close look at the inner workings and simple mechanisms commonly found inside childhood favorites. Find out just what makes Jack jump out of his box, learn how Hokey Pokey Elmo wiggles and dances, see how pulleys and wires help you etch that sketch, and discover the inside story of toys.
  • Big Blue Blocks - Shape your surroundings and create your own structures through special construction blocks. Designed by an architect, these blocks include familiar rectangular pieces, as well as shapes with holes and chutes, rods, balls, and many more. Let your creative side shine as you produce your own inventions, environments, and activities.
  • Tinkering with Tinker Toys - Explore design and engineering as you construct, experiment, and realize your own amazing creations with this classic toy. Build tall towers, complex structures, your own toy idea, or anything else your imagination conceives.

“By providing visitors with these fun opportunities for learning — from discovering the inner workings of classic toys to making wonderful new creations — we can help make these STEM concepts more familiar and a greater part of their lives,” explains Bob Raiselis, Montshire Director of Exhibits. “Plus, who hasn’t wondered how that thing inside an Etch-a-Sketch moves?”

Curated by the Montshire Exhibits team, this exhibition provides a chance for play-based learning, which is crucial to healthy brain development. Studies have shown that playing can strengthen problem-solving skills, enhance social skills, and improve fine and gross motor skills.

Playing Around: Engineering and Toys will open on Saturday, September 30, 2017, and will run through Sunday, March 25, 2018. It will be on display at the second floor of the Montshire.