Senator Alesi & Rmsc Announce Completion Of Major Exhibit

James S. Alesi

February 07, 2008

$500,000 grant secured by Senators aid in the completion of the "Expedition Earth"


Senator Jim Alesi (R– Perinton), Kate Bennett, President of the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC), RMSC Chair of the Board Christine Whitman, Steve Epping, M&T Bank, Senator Joe Robach, Senator Mike Nozzolio, Senator George Maziarz and members of the RMSC Board of Trustees announced today the completion of the RMSC's "Expedition Earth" exhibit. The expansion of the exhibit was made possible by a $500,000 grant secured by Senators Alesi, Robach, Maziarz and Nozzolio.

"As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business, I’m proud to join my colleagues in announcing the expansion and completion of this educational exhibit," said Senator Alesi. "This funding allowed the Museum to expand its educational resources and engage the public in active learning. As the Rochester Museum & Science Center continues to grow and prosper, not only will it add value to our region’s economy, but it will also vastly improve the quality of life for all residents of the Greater Rochester area."

The $500,000 state grant supported the expansion of RMSC’s spectacular natural science exhibition, Expedition Earth. The first phase of this project, Expedition Earth: Glaciers & Giants, opened in January 2006 to the delight of children, families, and educators. Visitors have come in record numbers to make their way through the glacial ice cave and examine 12,000-year-old bones of a mastodon discovered just south of Rochester.

While Glaciers & Giants reveals the story of Ice-Age Rochester, the two new sections of Expedition Earth bring the story of our region's natural environment forward to the present day (Expedition Earth: You & Your Earth) as well as hundreds of millions of years further back (Expedition Earth: An Ever-Changing Planet). Visitors can now explore the development of life in our region from the distant past before the Mesozoic Era, and engage in an investigation of Western New York’s environment today. New exhibits include:

• re-created habitats of local birds, fish, and mammals

• virtual tours of the Rochester region a few hundred years ago

• experience a mini earthquake on the "earthquake platform"

• a beaver lodge that children can enter and explore

• favorite dioramas, beautifully restored and enhanced with interactivity

• dramatic objects from the RMSC's natural science collections

• new hands-on experiences & spectacular re-created environments

"The expansion of Exhibition Earth marks the completion of the entire first floor renovation of the Rochester Museum & Science Center," states Kate Bennett, RMSC President. "We're thankful for the support Senator Alesi and the whole delegation have given us, allowing us to bring forward the story of a Sense of Place for Rochester in an interactive way where each and every one of us connects to it and learns from it."

"The Rochester Museum & Science Center is truly a treasure in our community to be enjoyed by both local residents and visitors from all over the country," stated Senator Joe Robach. "Working with Senators Alesi, Nozzolio and Maziarz to secure grants such as this, we are providing quality educational exhibits in our community and attractions that help to stimulate our local economy. I would like to commend Kate Bennett, President of the RMSC and the Board of Trustees on their vision and hard work on ensuring that the Rochester Museum & Science Center remains a great learning tool for our families and teachers throughout our region."

"More than ever, it is important that we learn about our planet and engage young people," said Senator George Maziarz. "This major new exhibit will help us do that, and it is been a pleasure to work with my colleagues and the RMSC leadership to make this happen."

"The new ‘Expedition Earth’ exhibit will allow visitors to enjoy the beauty and natural wonder of our planet," said Senator Michael Nozzolio. "It was a pleasure to work with Senator Jim Alesi and colleagues Joe Robach and George Maziarz in securing funding to complete this project, which will draw people to Rochester from around New York State and beyond. Already, the first phase of the exhibit has been a major tourist attraction, bringing in record numbers of people to the museum. With the completion of the exhibit, I expect even more success in the future."

The funding secured for this project was part of a $2 Million dollar Senate Majority package which provided equal grants for $500,000 to the Rochester Museum and Science Center, George Eastman House, Genesee County Museum and Strong National Museum of Play. The $2 Million dollar package was secured by Senators Alesi, Robach, Maziarz and Nozzolio.

"I am pleased to continue my support of the Rochester Museum & Science Center, said Senator Alesi. "The hands-on educational service this fine institution provides to the public, and especially to children, is an invaluable asset to our community and to our quality of life."