Montshire Unleashed

A Night at the Montshire Museum

I’m a science geek. I spent over 30 years working in science. I’ve had the good fortune to attend many events at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont over those years but most of those events involved children visiting the museum too. So when the opportunity to cover “Montshire Unleashed” came up, I jumped at it.

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What is Montshire Unleashed? One Friday a month from October-April the museum is open to adults only (21 and over) from 6:30-9 p.m.. Adult beverages are served by the Norwich Inn, featuring Jasper Murdock Ale and wine and food vendors rotate monthly serving a light supper for purchase. This means that people who are young at heart have the run of the museum, no “little people” around.

I’m sure if you’ve visited the museum with “little people” either your own, as a school visit chaperone, teacher, or with your grandchildren these “little people” get first dibs on the exhibits. So, imagine how fun it would be to have all those exhibits open for exploration with no waiting on children to move on.

Steph and Ray Leonard traveled from Randolph for Unleashed. “We come all the time with our kids, but we never have time to do the puzzles” said Steph. I found them at the “detangle” puzzle table hard at work. The puzzles they were working on were sort of like the metal ring puzzles or “Tavern Puzzles” you see at pubs and bars; these types of puzzles were traditionally forged by blacksmiths to amuse their friends at country taverns and inns. They can be quite difficult to solve. Just ask Steph or Ray.

Theresa Hunt and her boyfriend traveled from Montpelier. “My boyfriend saw an ad somewhere for the event” she said, “We thought it would make a nice date night thing.” I found her checking out the upright bass in the “Making Music” exhibit.

Groups of students from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth were there as were a group from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. Marcos Stafne, Montshire Museum executive director, said he watched the Thayer students observing the Visco City wall, taking photos and discussing the viscosity of the fluids in the tubes. “They were applying what they had learned about fluid dynamics, it was quite interesting to watch.”

The museum offers over 150 interactive permanent exhibits plus featured exhibits. The newly opened Destination: Space! highlights the art and science of space exploration and features One Giant Leap: The Moon Landing’s 50th Anniversary. 50 years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and the Montshire has a wonderful exhibit celebrating this great accomplishment.

Future Unleashed events will be held on Friday March 15 and April 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.. Museum members get in free. Admission for non-members is $10 but you can save $2 by pre-purchasing your admission. Employees of the Montshire Business Partnership pay only $7. These evening programs are sponsored by Mascoma Bank. For more information call 802-649-2200 or visit the museum’s website

More Unleashed photos 

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