Family blogger and big science fan, Dave Parfitt ( takes visitors on tour of the RMSC Museum & Science Center's newest exhibit "Elements of the Extreme."


Fists, sticks, and blades were flying at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) as History Channel’s Doug Marcaida, one of the judges for the TV show Forged in Fire, demonstrated his Filipino Martial Arts prowess.  Marcaida was on hand as part of a special event in connection with the RMSC’s newest exhibit “Elements of the Extreme.”

Forged by Fire Visits the Rochester Museum & Science Center

Fire, Water, Air, and Earth are the “old school” elements showcased in “Elements of the Extreme,” and Marcaida’s show Forged in Fire is a prime example on the role of fire in creation of weapons.

The Element of Fire Presented at the Rochester Museum & Science CenterRMSC’s “Elements of the Extreme” illustrates how these four building blocks (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth) of the material world have driven biological diversity throughout evolution and sparked some of humans’ greatest achievements.  Each of the four areas in “Elements of the Extreme” combines rare archival items from the RMSC vaults with hands-on stations to create an interactive exhibit.  A case in the center of the exhibit showed examples of human adaptations to each of the elemental extremes (such as a fireproof suit) compared with animals adapted to the same environment (i.e., an echidna).

In addition to the fire suit and echidna, the FIRE section features Japanese Samurai armor from the 18th Century forged in in fire as well as a hydrogen rocket ignited with the formation of water.

Elements come together at the Elements of the Extreme exhibit

The WATER portion showcases a working hydroelectric model and also demonstrated how water shapes the landscape in an “Augmented Reality Sandbox.”
Exploring the element of water at the Rochester Museum & Science Center

Kids can learn about the physics of air pressure while floating on a bed of air or making balls whiz through pneumatic tubes in the AIR part of the exhibit.  Or compare a exploring the element of air at the Rochester Museum & Science Centerflying squirrel to a wing-suit designed to allow humans to glide through the air.

The underground world of star-nosed and Eastern moles is revealed alongside a live harvester ant colony and cave of florescent minerals (that you can crawl through) in the EARTH portion of “Elements of Extreme.”

RMSC’s “Elements of the Extreme” exhibit was created entirely in-house, and is currently scheduled to run through April 2017.  Entrance to “Elements of the Extreme” is included with regular RMSC admission.

Exploring the element of Earth at the Rochester Museum & Science Center

Of course “Elements of the Extreme” is just one part of a stop at the RMSC.  During our family’s visit, we geeked out to a musical lightning show as 6-foot Tesla Coils zapped out tunes in the Electricity Theater. Created by the performance art group ArcAttack (who appeared on Season 5 of America’s Got Talent) the show began with Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, included a little Pirates of the Caribbean, and wrapped it up with Let It Go from Disney’s “Frozen.” Kids even got involved with the performance, protected by a Faraday Cage, they got an up close look between the coils as lightning bolts cracked and popped out the Ghostbusters theme around them.



A video posted by Dave Parfitt (@adventuresbydaddy) on


For us a tour of the RMSC is not complete without walking next door to the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium, where we learned all about the planets, stars, and constellations The Strausberg Planetarium in Rochester, NYcurrently visible in the night sky during “The Sky Tonight” star show.

The RMSC includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium, and Cumming Nature Center.  Admission to RMSC costs $14 adults, $13 seniors and college students with ID, $12 ages 3 – 18, and free for RMSC members and children under 3 years old.  An additional charge applies for the Planetarium’s giant-screen films, star shows, and laser performances.