Back Issues
Carnegie MuseumsMedia Kit


October 2, 2004
through May 1, 2005
















The Real Artifacts, The True Stories

Visitors to Carnegie Science Center can immerse themselves in Titanic Science—trying their hands at skippering a ship and dodging icebergs, or eating snow cones while learning about the science of ice.

“ Bringing an exhibit that focuses on the gripping tale of how the R.M.S. Titanic sunk on April 15, 1912, was an easy choice,” says Dennis Bateman, Carnegie Science Center’s director of creative services and science content. The exhibit Titanic Science: The Real Artifacts, The True Stories was developed by the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. “The Titanic has ongoing appeal, and there has been renewed interest since the blockbuster feature film a few years back,” he adds.

The Titanic began its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912, when it left Southampton, England, to travel to New York. Believed to be a cruise ship that could never sink, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14 and sank just a few hours later on April 15. Of the 2,227 passengers and crew on board, 1,522 died.

The Science Center exhibit displays artifacts found on the ship when its remains were discovered in 1985. The sunken ship with its treasures still lies at a site 963 miles northeast of New York City and 453 miles south of Newfoundland.

Among the artifacts on display are reading glasses that belonged to a passenger or crew member, a leather satchel, and a piece of printed sheet music titled “Put Your Hand Around Me, Honey.” Some delicate items, like paper and leather, survived because the wreck site is 2.5 miles below the ocean surface where there is little light or oxygen.

Many of the exhibit’s interactive features explore the science of why the Titanic sunk. For example, visitors can maneuver images on an interactive screen to learn about the so-called “bank suction” phenomenon, which occurs when a large ship passes close to another object, such as a dock or iceberg. In the Titanic’s case, the ship actually hit the iceberg at least six times due to the bank suction phenomenon.

Visitors also can maneuver a remote-controlled vehicle inside a 5,000-gallon tank of water. Such devices were used to explore the Titanic wreck and obtain several artifacts.

To complement Titanic Science and the Omnimax® documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, the Science Center’s Overnighter and Kitchen Theater programs also will incorporate this theme. The 3rd floor Kitchen Theater features Chill Out: The Science of Ice. “This gives us a chance in a theater-style show to delve deeper into the Titanic and how frozen water can sink a multi-ton ship. And at the end, everyone gets snow cones,” Bateman says.


Ghosts of the Abyss
Rangos Omnimax Theater, October 1, 2004 through June 2005

Running concurrently with the Titanic Science exhibit is an OMNIMAX® documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss, that lets moviegoers dive into the ocean depths for a glimpse of the R.M.S. Titanic and flash back to scenes of the liner’s luxurious splendor that no one has seen since the night she sank in 1912.

Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron directed and produced Ghosts of the Abyss in conjunction with Disney and a large team of expert cinematographers
and ocean explorers. Cameron is best known for his Academy Award-winning film Titanic. He became so intrigued by the ship’s history and story that in the summer of 2001 he led an expedition to the wreck itself.

While the ship’s wreckage has been filmed many times since its discovery in 1985, this is the first time that a large-screen, 3-D format film has been created
to take viewers into the bowels of the ship.

“The unique thing about this film is that it takes you down to the wreck of the Titanic, a place just a few will ever witness firsthand,” says Dennis Bateman, the Science Center’s director of creative services and science content. “That’s why this film is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Much of the equipment used to explore and film the wreck in IMAX 3-D technology was made especially for the Ghosts of the Abyss expedition. “The film lets you look at the wreckage of a state room and then it ‘morphs’ back to what it really looked like in 1912. Rather than just seeing chunks of steel sitting at the bottom of the ocean, the viewer has a very emotional experience,” explains Bateman.


Introducing Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Skybox

Entertain your best customers; celebrate your child's birthday; stage a family reunion; host an evening your guests will never forget. Where? At Pittsburgh’s new, most unique venue . . . the Rangos Omnimax Theater’s Skybox at Carnegie Science Center.

Imagine a private setting where you can comfortably watch a film while enjoying great conversation, food, and drink. The Science Center can arrange for catering—everything from gourmet meals, to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, to simply snacks, movie popcorn, candy and drinks. You can schedule a party around a current Omnimax® film or make a special request from Carnegie Science Center’s film library based on theater availability.

To schedule a Skybox party, call 412.237.3400. The cost is only $300 to rent the Skybox for up to 25 people. Catering and movie tickets are additional and priced separately based on the total number in your party.


Carnegie Science Center:
Open All Night

If you think Carnegie Science Center shuts down on weekend evenings, get out your
x-ray night vision glasses and look again.

The place is literally humming as children and adults arrive at 7 p.m., with sleeping bags in hand and energy levels high. The event could be any one of a number of weekend overnight programs that the Science Center holds throughout the year.

“ It’s a unique way to be part of the Science Center and an experience our guests will never forget,” says Jessica Stricker, director of education experiences at the Center.

There are three categories of overnighters. Those based in the main building tend to be aimed at Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other groups. These overnight campers have a 45-minute, hands-on science activity to do, as well as the chance to visit the Science Center’s exhibits, see an OMNIMAX® movie, and enjoy an evening snack and breakfast. The average attendance is 350 adults and children per overnighter. And there are lots of themed overnighters: this year look for the Titanic, Halloween, and Railroad Overnighters.

Submarine-themed overnighters are another popular category, and while the campers can’t sleep on the sub, they spend several hours there before retiring into the main building.

Similarly, UPMC SportsWorks has overnighters that feature an evening at the main building and then private time in SportsWorks the next morning until it opens to the public.

Cost for overnighters at the main building and submarine is $30 per person. UPMC SportWorks overnighters cost $35.

“ There’s always excitement being in a building after it’s closed,” says Stricker. “And even though 350 people sounds like a lot of people, it’s not really many at all for us. Most days we have 2,000 or 3,000 people in the building, so our overnight guests really get a lot of quality time with all the Science Center has to offer.”


October 22-23, 2004,
10 a.m.-5 p.m

This year, Carnegie Science Center presents its 6th Annual National Chemistry Week on Friday and Saturday, October 22-23. The activities will focus on the contributions of science and chemistry to our health and wellness.

The theme of Health and Wellness will be featured at more than 25 tables that offer chemistry-related, hands-on science experiments, activities, and demonstrations. These activities are designed for all ages and are hosted by corporations, societies, and universities. The Science Center will also present all-day shows in the Highmark Science Stage Theater during these two special days.

And on Friday October 22, it will host a Girl Scout Overnighter at which participants earn a National Chemistry Week Girl Scout Patch.

Sponsors for National Chemistry Week in Pittsburgh include The Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society, the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, the Society For Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh, and Bayer Corporation. Funds contributed to the event help underwrite the expenses of Girl Scout Overnighters and school group visits.


October’s Total Lunar Eclipse
By Dan Malerbo

If the weather cooperates on October 27 we are in for a special treat: a total eclipse of the moon. Eclipses have been described as an example of the “clockwork” of the universe. They are regular, predictable, easy to watch and one of nature’s grand spectacles.

A lunar eclipse occurs at full moon when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. The shadow is made up of two cone-shaped components nestled inside the other. The penumbra, or outer shadow, is where the Earth blocks part of the sun’s rays from reaching the moon. The umbra, or inner shadow, is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the moon.

Lunar eclipses do not occur every time we have a full moon because the plane in which the moon orbits is tilted five degrees. Because of this tilt, the moon usually travels above or below Earth’s shadow each month.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire moon passes through Earth’s umbral shadow. Once the moon touches the edge of the umbral shadow, (8:14 p.m. October 27) it takes about an hour to be immersed completely and totality to begin. Totality during the October 27 eclipse begins at 9:23 p.m. and lasts 71 minutes—it ends at 10:44 p.m.

During totality, the moon can take on an array of colors from dark brown and red to bright orange and yellow. The exact color depends on how much dust and clouds are present in Earth’s atmosphere, which filters the sun’s light. Sometimes the moon can become invisible especially after the eruption of a volcano. The volcanic dust blocks sunlight from passing through earth’s atmosphere to the moon.

No special equipment is required to view a lunar eclipse. Just go outside and look up.


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Copyright (c) 2004 CARNEGIE magazine. All rights reserved.