There has never been a better time to bring your family to The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) located in the Rensselaer Technology Park in Troy.
After being closed for the entire month of September for the completion of major renovations, the hands-on children’s museum kicked off its grand re-opening earlier this month.
We’ve added quite a few new exhibits, said Laurie Miedema, director of member and guest relations for CMOST. One of those new exhibits is called Go Power, which allows children to learn about energy and its pathways.
Like all the exhibits at CMOST, kids are encouraged to play an active role in learning by becoming energy investigators, following the paths of various energy sources through the walls, floors, and cupboards of a kitchen. The exhibit teaches children about the meters used to calculate both energy usage and dollars, and explores alternative fuels that can be found in the home.
Miedema said the museum is as much about parents learning with their kids as it is about the kids having fun while learning.
`Parents are kind of intimidated,` she said when it comes to many areas related to math and science. `The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology offers a place for parents to come and have a hands-on experience so it’s not so scary when you’re trying to teach science.`
CMOST has expanded its Weather Front exhibit by working with Capital News 9 and green screen technology. This allows the kids to create and broadcast their own weather forecasts. Children are able to watch themselves on screen and see replays of their weather report afterwards. Another component of this exhibit is the tornado chamber, in which visitors can see how tornados are formed.
`Kids have a good time, but they are learning at the same time,` said Miedema. We talk to a lot of teachers about what the needs are in the schools. We’re trying to be a resource to teachers and parents.` CMOST makes efforts to create exhibits that can be tied to the state’s curriculum guidelines.
The museum’s Playmotion exhibit uses computer-generated images shown on a blank wall and children are able to utilize their shadows to interact with the solar system. When they reach out and touch a planet, an information bubble appears and identifies the planet while providing additional information on it. Another component of the Playmotion exhibit is the virtual water exhibit, which advertises `all of the fun and none of the mess.` Again, the exhibit only shadows to create ripples and waves in water.
`We believe you can learn science and technology much better by touching and feeling,` said Miedema.
CMOST is proud of its hands-on exhibits and notes that the only portion of the museum that is `untouchable` to visitors are the fish tanks. The Hudson River Watershed exhibit leads visitors on a trip downriver featuring a waterfall and five large tanks of fish from different areas of the Hudson River. In November, visitors will be able to take part in watershed shows that will review and discuss the impact on the river of the environment, pollution and sewer runoff.
There are four different shows playing daily at the planetarium in the museum, plus animal shows and optical illusions to round out other exciting and fun filled activities for kids. Parents can log on to the museum’s Web site, www.cmost.org, for details about the program offerings or to check out birthday party options.
General admission is $5 per person for people age 2 and up, with planetarium shows costing an additional $1 per person per show. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sunday between noon and 5 p.m. It is located at 250 Jordan Road in Troy. The telephone number is 235-2120.“