The Changing Carnegie
Science Center 1991 -2001
a Tenth Anniversary: October 5, 2001
Ten years, 6,384,889 visitors, and another two
million people touched through outreach programs. Pretty impressive. But as
Carnegie Science Center pauses on October 5 to take a celebratory glance
back at its first decade, there are plans already underway for a
160,000-square-foot expansion, and the addition of Discovery Park, an
outdoor recreation area.
"We would like to continue to grow our
programs and audiences, and become a truly dramatic riverfront landmark for
the region," says Seddon Bennington, Carnegie Science Center Director.
He adds, "It's wonderful to be part of an organization that plays such
an important part in this community, and in the region's development."
The Science Center has created a solid foundation
to accomplish its goals. Ron Baillie, Director of Education, beginning at
Buhl Science Center in 1983, says he's seen the new Science Center blossom
into an "integral part of the community" and a place people
return to time and again.
Baillie says that's due to the variety of
changing programs and formats offered, and the staff's ability to create
exhibits that appeal to a wide-range of interests. The new UPMC SportsWorks is a perfect
example. "There was a survey
done in Toronto that showed sports fans were the largest group of people
unlikely to visit a science center," Baillie says. But UPMC SportsWorks, with its interactive
approach, will certainly draw that crowd. And the new Friday and Saturday
night program is aimed at 18 to 24-year olds--a group as unlikely as sports
fans to hang out at a Science Center.
Dennis Bateman, assistant director for exhibits
and facilities, who also started at Buhl Science Center, feels the new
Science Center's interactive displays are a large part of its
success. "When we opened, we were the only one with
interactives," Bateman says. "Now the Pittsburgh Zoo and the
Heinz History Museum has them--so we helped raise bar on that."
Of course that means the Science Center now has
competition. "It keeps
us on our toes," Bateman says...and creates
a need to keep improving internally. "Now people want to know what the
next thing will be--which means competition with ourselves," Bateman
Looking ahead, Baillie says, "The track we are on is not
finished. I've met many people who still haven't come to visit." But
that will change as the Science Center builds upon its rich past, and word
continues to spread of what it has to offer.
"We're so proud of the good feelings people
have about the Science Center," says Bennington. "Whether it's
children, teens, parents, adults, teachers, politicians, tourists--it's
wonderful to be part of a place that continually receives such positive
This past spring, as Baillie watched a busload of
10-year-olds prepare to enter the center, he overheard one little boy,
obviously a repeat customer, turn to a buddy and exclaim, "This place
is SO cool!" That type of energy and enthusiasm will keep the Science
Center alive and thriving for decades to come.
Special events are planned to celebrate the
anniversary on October 4, 5, 6.
Timeline of Change
Buhl Science Center and Planetarium opened in
1939, and in 1987 merged with Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. The 1991
Carnegie Science Center that grew from Buhl in 1991 is in some ways a
62-year old institution, with deep and well-remembered roots in Pittsburgh.
Space does not permit the full details of change
in the past decade, which includes such accomplishments as the Teacher
Resource Center, Discovery Island, Science Carnival, SciTech Festival,
Laser Shows, and world-wide domination of sales of Planetarium shows. Every
floor of the building has completely changed in the past decade.
of 1991 - 2001
1990 - USS Requin submarine opens. Attracts one million visitors in
Carnegie Science Center (CSC) opens.
1993- YouthALIVE program for inner city high school students.
Seddon Bennington becomes second director
1995 - Miniature Railroad & Village
becomes a year-round attraction.
1996 - Robotics --first traveling
exhibition, tours 11 cities in next
four years. SciQuest, first major staff-produced exhibit. International
Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) meets at CSC. Journey into the Living Cell--first non-astronomy based
science program produced for a planetarium.
1998 - Eccostation - improved WPXI Weather
Technology Center opens.
2000 - ZAP! Surgery Beyond the Cutting Edge --traveling
exhibit on surgical technology has world debut at the ASTC conference in
Cleveland. Exploration Station,
Exploration Station Jr. l and The Sky Above Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood open. Kitchen
Theater and SeaScape expand.
E-motion light sculpture highlights building at night. Science in Your Neighborhood educational program.
2001 - UPMC SportsWorks opens- largest
exhibition yet produced. Launch of
educational satellite on campus of Edinboro University .
Changing Seasons and the Harvest Moon
Many cultures have associated special names with the
Full Moon of certain months or seasons. Perhaps the most famous of all these
special Moon names is that of the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the
Full Moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, or the official
start of fall. That event takes place on the morning of September 22nd
this year. That means that the Full Moon that occurs ten days later, on
Tuesday, October 2nd is this year’s Harvest Moon.
it’s fairly obvious that the Harvest Moon gets its name from the fact that
it marks the climax of the harvest season. This is true for farmers in the
United States as well as for European farmers, who first used the term
“Harvest Moon”. What’s truly interesting however is that the Harvest Moon
is much more than just a name. There is something very special about the
autumnal equinox and the Moon’s motion that made the Harvest Moon a
Most of the year, the Moon rises about 50 minutes later each night.
At the time of the start of autumn however, the Moon’s path in the sky
makes a very shallow angle with the horizon. Because of this, the Full Moon
of autumn creeps along the horizon for several nights and rises only about
25 minutes later each day. In much of Europe, the autumn Full Moon rises
only 15 minutes later each night.
Because the Full Moon always rises at sunset, farmers found that the
autumn Moon, rising at almost the same time every night, provided them with
the ability to work late in the fields after daylight had faded. It’s hard
to underestimate just how important this was in the days before electric
lights. For centuries the Harvest Moon was more than just a name, it was a
useful natural phenomenon.
John G. Radzilowicz, Director
Henry Buhl, Jr.
Planetarium & Observatory
The 1939 Buhl Science Center planetarium was replaced in 1991
by state-of-the-art technology in the new Henry Buhl, Jr. planetarium