The Big Event: Montshire’s 40th Anniversary Draws 1,200 Museum Lovers

Anna Jacobson finds a favorite piece of confetti and shows it to  her aunt Mariah during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Anna Jacobson finds a favorite piece of confetti and shows it to her aunt Mariah during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Philip McCaull, chairman of the museum's board of trustees, addresses the crowd during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Philip McCaull, chairman of the museum's board of trustees, addresses the crowd during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Which design will fly the best? Joshua Gray, 4, of Bradford, Vt., his mom, Karen Newton, and sister Brianna, 1,0 make "science confetti" during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. They kept modifying the design to see which one would float the best. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Executive Director Marcos Stafne leads everyone in  singing Happy Birthday during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Executive Director Marcos Stafne leads everyone in singing Happy Birthday during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Exhibits Director Bob Raiselis and Barbara H. Jones, of Grantham, at the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Jones has been involved with the museum since it started. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Exhibits Director Bob Raiselis and Barbara H. Jones, of Grantham, at the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Jones has been involved with the museum since it started. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Cousins Griffin Stoudnour, 7, of Fairlee, and Isabel Shiers, 8, of Norway, Maine, compare the taste of Pop Rocks on different flavors of Morano Gelato during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Cousins Griffin Stoudnour, 7, of Fairlee, and Isabel Shiers, 8, of Norway, Maine, compare the taste of Pop Rocks on different flavors of Morano Gelato during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Malcolm Sharlet, 2, of Norwich, has fun with the air tubes while his dad, Jeff, takes pictures during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Malcolm Sharlet, 2, of Norwich, has fun with the air tubes while his dad, Jeff, takes pictures during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
Oksana Pekker, of Plainfield, explores the science of bubbles during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. "You get to feel like you are 5 years old again," said her husband, Leonid. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)
 Eleanor Konings 11 creates a hat that doubles as a mask during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph  (www.photosbynanci.com) - Nancy Nutile-McMenemy |
Eleanor Konings 11 creates a hat that doubles as a mask during the Montshire Museum of Science's 40th anniversary celebration on Jan. 10. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph (www.photosbynanci.com)

T he Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich has been offering hands-on science exhibits and programs throughout its 40 years, and the museum’s recent anniversary celebration hewed to that mission.

The Jan. 10 open house didn’t neglect birthday basics — cake and a group rendition of Happy Birthday both were served up, and each of the 1,200 guests received a gift: free admission. But visitors also were treated to related science activities.

Making and tossing confetti provided an opportunity to consider how seeds are dispersed in nature, and with the help of a wind tube, streamers led a lesson in aerodynamics. Even the handmade party hats stayed with the theme, featuring titles such as “explorer.”

“We tried to make it as scientific as possible,” said Marcos Stafne, the Montshire’s executive director.

The visitors included many who had traveled “from far and wide” in the Twin States, Stafne said.

His highlight? Seeing visitors engage with the museum as they would on any other day, having “great family interactions,” he said. “Even though there were a lot of people and a lot of energy and excitement, families were still able to really engage together in conversations around science.”

Aimee Caruso

Amanda Newman

Author: Amanda Newman

Amanda Newman is a Valley News night desk editor and the design editor of Enterprise. She can be reached at anewman@vnews.com or 603-727-3215.

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