Science Center Director
Returns Home to New Zealand
Bennington Becomes Director of National Museum in Wellington
eight very successful years as Carnegie Science Center's director, Seddon
Bennington has left to accept the director's position at New Zealand's
national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, in Wellington. Bennington's last day at
the science center was December 24.
A native New Zealander,
Bennington was a major force behind UPMC SportsWorks and the center's
upcoming $90-million expansion designed by
architect Jean Nouvel. Ellsworth H. Brown, president of Carnegie Museums of
Pittsburgh, says Bennington has "left a mark on Pittsburgh that will
remain for a long time -- the wonderfully entrepreneurial stance of the
science center itself, a good staff, and a
and widely distributed network of community initiatives and outreach
Dr. Roderick Deane, Te Papa
chair, says Bennington was selected to direct the museum--dedicated to New
Zealand's heritage and culture--because of his "distinguished record
of leadership in the museum and art gallery world… Dr. Bennington is a
scientist with a very strong commitment to and knowledge of the arts."
Education Director Ron Baillie
has been named interim director. An international search firm has been
hired to find a new director.
Coral Reef Adventure
Rangos Omnimax Theater
February 21 – October 2003
It is a
world of flashing neon colors, undulating water, and pulsating,
oddly-shaped creatures. This is a coral reef: one of the oldest and richest
ecosystems on Earth. Nowhere else does such a diverse range of organisms
coexist so closely and in such abundance. In fact, nearly 25 percent of
marine life-- including octopus, angelfish, damsel fish, sea snakes,
anemones, lionfish, cleaner shrimp, and turtles--call the coral reef home.
Coral Reef Adventure, a new film
premiering at Carnegie Science Center's Rangos Omnimax Theater on February
21 illustrates the beauty of healthy coral reef around Australia's Great
Barrier Reef, Fiji, Tahiti, and Rangiroa.
The "emcees" of Coral Reef Adventure are underwater
filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall, who have studied coral reef ecosystems
for more than
The Halls take viewers down 360 watery feet to explore the corals of the
South Pacific, swim amid sharks in coral canyons, and to be dazzled by the
myriad colors and shapes of the sea creatures living among the coral.
So dive into the South Pacific's
sun-drenched waters--it's more appealing than a Pittsburgh winter.
engineer is human. We do it everyday…although we might not be aware of
it.Helping the kids build a birdhouse, installing a ceiling fan, mixing an
Alka Seltzer to soothe an upset tummy--all have some connection to
Last year, more than 7,600 people
attended Carnegie Science Center's National Engineers Week and learned
about engineering from the folks who know the subject best: real engineers.
Now in its ninth year, National
Engineers Week is designed to celebrate the achievements of the millions of
engineers who contribute daily to our quality of life and inspire young
people to explore engineering as a career.
The event will feature more than 60 local societies, agencies,
companies, and universities. Hands-on exhibits, presentations, and
demonstrations--representing every engineering discipline from chemical and
electrical to mechanical and civil--will include the ever-popular Alka
Seltzer tablet rockets and robot car races along with the more serious
Two zany academic contests presented by
Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania and Carnegie Science Center are
also part of National Engineers Week: the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest and
Future City Competition.
The second annual Rube Goldberg
Machine Contest, for students in grades 9 to 12, was held December 6, at
UPMC SportsWorks. The contest is designed to pull students away from
conventional problem-solving and into imaginative and intuitive thinking as
they build an elaborate multistage machine that cleans, polishes, and buffs
shoes. The designs will be on display during Engineers Week. The contest is
presented by Westinghouse Electric Co. and Carnegie Science Center.
On January 18, the Fourth Annual
Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition will be held at Carnegie Music
Hall. Here middle school students---our future engineers and
architects---have imagined cities of
21st century through 3-D models. The winner will proceed to the national
finals in Washington, D.C., in February.
Buhl Foundation endows the
Carnegie Science Center
Buhl Foundation celebrated its 75th year of supporting western Pennsylvania
by making the largest gift in its history:
$3 million to endow The Henry Buhl, Jr. Director chair.
Boyce, president of the foundation since 1982, noted that,
"Foundations can't make change: our job is to fund people and
organizations who can." She
added, "Our roots, as well as our name, are in the science center, and
it is a perfect example of a project that make a difference in individual
lives as well as in the development of an entire region. It is a major tourist attraction, a
prolific educator, and a leader in cutting edge technology and
The House that Mayor Murphy
special person designed a new structure for Carnegie Science Center's
Miniature Railroad & Village. Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy hand-built a
model of Hazelwood's John Woods house--believed to be the oldest residence
in Allegheny County--using beeswax to replicate the stone and carving
shingles from heavy paper stock. Exhibit Manager Mike Orban and Program
Coordinator Patty Rogers lent guidance.
is a long-time train enthusiast," says Rogers, "and, as a child,
took model building lessons from creator Charles Bowdish. Murphy likes old homes and buildings and
is passionate and knowledgeable about the history of Pittsburgh, so his
idea to replicate this structure was a natural." He built the model of the sandstone house
from drawings made from photographs and measurements taken at the
site. John Woods, one of the
original surveyors of Pittsburgh, built the house in 1792, and Stephen
Foster serenaded the Woods family on its porch. Located at 4604 Monongahela
Street, the house has been purchased by the Urban Redevelopment Authority
and plans are underway to renovate it. The Woods house was designated a
historic site by Pittsburgh City Council in 1977.
The Miniature Railroad & Village is
sponsored by Lionel.
Explores the Building Blocks of
Engineering for Life, a new Buhl Planetarium show premiering in January, is
an innovative and educational program focusing on tissue engineering…and we
don't mean Kleenex.
in the footsteps of Journey into the Living Cell and Grey Matters: The
Brain Show, the new Tissue Engineering for Life investigates the science of
growing molecules, cells, tissues, and organs to replace
or injured ones. The most well-known type of tissue engineering is skin
grafting for burn victims, but this science also encompasses technologies
improve surgical operations and diagnoses.
we can fly over the surface of Mars, why not fly over the surface of a
cell?" says Buhl Planetarium Director John Radzilowicz of the show.
And Buhl Planetarium offers the perfect immersive, interactive environment
in which to do just that. Combining the best computer 3-Danimation,
scientific imagery, art, and sound,
audiences will see how the body grows, works, functions, and repairs
itself all the way down to the cellular level. As a special bonus,
audiences get to decide what they will see and learn about by
"voting" on a keypad attached to their armrest.
total immersion," says Radzilowicz. "If we're talking about a
bone, we're going to take you inside a bone."
program will be shown in a modular format over the next 2 1/2 years. The
first module is dedicated to bones--how bone tissue grows, what can go
wrong, and how tissue engineering can heal injuries. Later modules
cover stem cell research, skin grafting, and organ transplant. So a
returning viewer could see a totally different show each visit.
an exciting program, where you get a new at the exciting technology taken
from today's headlines," says Radzilowicz.
Engineering for Life is funded by the National Institutes of Health and sponsored
by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.