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Now showing through September 2004

“Very few people will ever be able to experience what it’s like to drive and compete at more than 200 miles per hour with the precision and skill that NASCAR drivers achieve. This film allows us to immerse an audience in the NASCAR experience.”
-Paul Brooks, president, NASCAR Digital Entertainment
















NASCAR: The IMAX Experience

It seems impossible, but there’s actually a way to participate in the Daytona 500 race—at speeds up to 200 miles per hour—without having to buckle a seatbelt or wear a safety helmet. It’s called NASCAR: The IMAX Experience. Going 65 mph on the Parkway was never like this.

At Carnegie Science Center’s Rangos Omnimax Theater, this thrill-ride of a movie puts a camera in the driver’s seat for an intense, up-close-and-personal look into the terrors and unpredictability of auto racing.

With more than 75 million fans, NASCAR is considered one of the United States’ most popular spectator sports and NASCAR: The IMAX Experience explains what the noise is all about. Filmed on location at a number of racetracks and racing events (including the 45th Daytona 500 and the Bristol Motor Speedway) as well as various testing environments and NASCAR’s new, state-of-the-art research center in Concord, North Carolina, NASCAR: The IMAX Experience introduces audiences to the drivers, support crews, and even the rabid fans. In addition, the film explores the technology that keeps the cars on the track, the physics the drivers depend on to successfully navigate the track and maneuver within inches of their competitors, and the minds of the individuals who compete for the coveted checkered flag. NASCAR: The IMAX Experience also takes a glimpse into the rearview mirror at the sport’s 56-year history.

Thanks to the four-story-tall screen and surround sound speakers, NASCAR: The IMAX Experience provides viewers an opportunity to feel what racing is like. Scenes filmed inside the cars—including footage of some awesome collisions and car flips—will have audience members stomping on the floor looking for the brake pedal.

Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Digital Entertainment, says: “Very few people will ever be able to experience what it’s like to drive and compete at more than 200 miles per hour with the precision and skill that NASCAR drivers achieve. This film allows us to immerse an audience in the NASCAR experience.”
Narrated by Keifer Sutherland and directed by Simon Wincer, NASCAR: The IMAX Experience will put fans—and those new to the sport—on the edges of their seats, begging the filmmakers to slow it down.

After NASCAR takes its final lap, the Rangos Omnimax Theater presents a thrill
ride of a different kind: James Cameron’s documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, a look at the fate of the Titanic, opening October 1. OMNIMAX® tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors who are non-members, and $7 for adults and $5 for children and seniors who are members. Or, OMNIMAX tickets can be purchased for an additional $5 with general admission. For information on show times and additional movie titles, visit www.carnegiesciencecenter.org or call 412.237.3400.


The SeaScape at Carnegie Science Center

Still looking for Nemo? Maybe he’s hiding out at Carnegie Science Center’s 2,000-square-foot SeaScape aquarium, the home to fish and creatures of every size and color. And some just have to be seen to be believed.

Three creatures are relatively new to SeaScape. The Cassiopeia jellyfish (a.k.a. the upside down jellyfish), located on the floors of the lagoon and mangrove tanks, have photosynthetic algae living inside their center tentacles. The sea apple, a type of sea cucumber residing near the back reef, is bright purple with red highlights, yellow tube feet, and inch-long tentacles. And the fore reef has recently welcomed the squareblock anthius—the male is a stunning bright-pinkish-orange color with an unusual square pinkish-lavender spot; the female is orange with red spots.

All components of a Pacific Coral Reef ecosystem—fore reef, back reef, lagoon, and mangrove (with actual mangrove trees)—have been recreated in SeaScape’s interconnected, five-tank system. In the coral reef area, a refuge serves as a man-made nursery to keep predators at a safe distance while baby animals mature, and the algal scrubber works as the biological filter to clean the seawater of waste and supply oxygen. On the algal scrubber, algae are grown on screens to provide a natural filter for the coral reef. It is one of only a few such natural filtration systems being used for public exhibits in the United States.

Interactive computer stations, colorful images, video clips, sound effects, and audio narration provide in-depth information on some of the more than 400 species of plants and animals living in this 1,800-gallon coral reef ecosystem. Eight underwater camera stations allow visitors to zoom in for a closer look at the bizarre-looking corals, algae, plants, and tongue-twistingly named animals such as the Knysna Seahorses, Bi-Color Parrot Fish, Clownfish, Flame Angels, Lawnmower Blennies, and Magenta Dottybacks.

A yellow submarine is available for the kids to “explore” a replica of a sunken ship’s bow, and a 150-gallon touch tank provides the curious with an up-close look at several varieties of sea creatures, including starfish and horseshoe crabs. And, if the fish aren’t surreal enough, the See Like a Fish exhibit—two periscopes mounted inside a larger-than-life model clownfish head—presents anyone sticking their head inside with a fish-eyed view of the world.

SeaScape at Carnegie Science Center is sponsored by



Running better,and always on time, after 50 years.
The Miniature Railroad & Village®

This promises to be a big year for Carnegie Science Center’s Miniature Railroad & Village: On December 1, 2004, the beloved 2,300-square-foot exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first appearance at the Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science. While most of the celebrations are scheduled for later in the year, two special events will occur this summer.

Debuting in late June 2004 and running through July 2007, a new inter-active exhibit highlighting the technology and ongoing science of railroad engineer-ing will be located in the alcoves outside the Miniature Railroad display. Created by Pittsburgh’s own Union Switch & Signal (founded in 1881 by George Westinghouse), the exhibit complements the Miniature Railroad & Village with interactive displays on the need for fail-safe signaling; the advantages of computer-controlled signaling; the management of rail traffic patterns; train routing; and careers in the train switch/signal industry. Another display highlights the history of Union Switch & Signal.

“ The Miniature Railroad & Village is so realistic, but you never think about how the trains are run, how they stay on the tracks, and the science behind it all,” says Tom Meston, Union Switch & Signal’s manager of marketing communications. Meston, who grew up visiting the exhibit with his family, is thrilled by the partnership between Union Switch & Signal and the Miniature Railroad & Village.

The technology of railroad signals is featured in a special exhibit.

“This exhibit will provide a better understanding—to both kids and adults—of the technology behind the industry. This is a great opportunity to reach the Pittsburgh community and explain how this technology works,” Meston says.

In June, members of the Train Collectors Association will visit Pittsburgh for their 50th anniversary national convention. The convention will include two tours of the Miniature Railroad & Village on June 22 and June 24. And it’s a pretty good bet that all those miniature train enthusiasts will be standing in line for
the 50th Anniversary Boxcar, which will be available at the XPLOR store later
this year.


Dance of the Planets

On Saturday and Sunday, April 3-4, 2004 visitors can join the staff of Carnegie Science Center’s Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium & Observatory along with members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh for a two-day celebration of Astronomy and Space Science!

Pittsburgh’s astronomical weekend grew out of a grass roots “Astronomy Day” event that started in 1973. For 30 years now, professional and amateur astronomers have joined forces to share the joy of astronomy with as many people as possible during these special events. During these astronomical festivals, hundreds of thousands of people around the world will have an opportunity to see firsthand what has so many astronomers excited. Astronomy clubs, science centers, observatories, planetariums, universities, and nature centers worldwide host gatherings and activities to acquaint their visitors with local astronomical resources and facilities—all to help bring the universe a little closer.

Astronomical celebrations will take place at hundreds of sites across the United States. Internationally, England, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, the Philippines, Argentina, Malaysia, New Guinea, and many other countries are hosting activities. Each location plans and executes special events that work best for their local community.

So, what can visitors expect? At Carnegie Science Center, visitors will be able to fly to the far reaches of the Cosmos in the Planetarium, launch model rockets along the Ohio River, study the Sun, Moon, and stars from the rooftop Observatory and get a close-up look at meteorites and Moon rocks. They will learn about the latest news from Mars and explore the universe around us through shows, lectures, workshops, and lots of hands-on fun. Activities are geared for all ages and interest levels.

Whether you’re interested in learning how to find your way among the stars, checking out the latest and greatest telescopes, hearing about the latest astronomical news, or exploring life aboard the International Space Station, this weekend is for you!

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Copyright (c) 2003 CARNEGIE magazine. All rights reserved.