The only children’s museum in the country to be adopted by NASA & the Office of Science.

2005 Children's Museum Annual Science & Technology Fair pictures

Kids lined up on our 4th floor to greet EVA

Museum Executive Director Marlene Brown greets Congressman Sherry Boehlert and Astronaut George Zamka

Officers from the Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society, L to R: David Terrazas, President Joe Crossman, Carol Higgins, Chuck Higgins

David & Chuck explaining astronomy exhibits

This youngster whized through Rocketdyne Power & Propulsion's Space Exploration kiosk game, getting all the answers right!

NASA Glenn Research Center's interactive game, Quizdom, had youngsters and adults enjoying and learning

Playing the Quizdom game with remote controls!

Rocketdyne Power & Propulsion's touchscreen game!

NASA Glenn Research Center delight kids with their exhibit

Imaging yourself in space at the NASA photo booth

NASA Glenn's EVA shows up & greets Director Brown

Visitors of all ages wanted a hug from this special Astronaut!

And to pose for pictures

Even giving EVA a big hug!

Mom & Dad enjoying with their daughter

Hey, astronauts are cool!

Jen Herzog presenting ribbon & certificate

Jen Herzog presenting ribbon & certificate

Jen Herzog presenting ribbon & certificate

Jen Herzog presenting ribbon & certificate

Congressman Boehlert chats with Rocketdyne's Gerry as Director Brown chats with Astronaut Zamka

Rocketdyne's Gerry & partner in from CA with their exhibits

The Congressman & Astronaut greet EVA!

Board member Steve Genett & son pose w/EVA & the Congressman

Congressman Boehlert & Astronaut Zamka view student projects entered by three young ladies

Congressman Boehlert & Astronaut Zamka view Proctor High school student project

Astronaut Zamka views the museum's 4th floor

Presenters line up to get ready for the presentation

Congressman Boehlert, Chairman of the House Science Committee

Astronaut Zamka & Director Brown listening to Boehlert

Astronaut Colonel Zamka addresses the crowd

While Director Brown & Congressman Boehlert look on

Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society shares their involvement

NASA Glenn enjoying the day and the event!

NASA Glenn presenting the Chairman with a new pin!

Rocketdynne's Gerry is an ongoing supporter of the museum

Presenting a Crystal Rocketdyne Clock to Boehlert

Presenting a Crystal Rocketdynne Rocket to Zamka

Steve Genett, of, shares why he's involved with the museum

Now visitors line up to get autographed pictures of the Astronaut

Folks of all ages enjoyed meeting one of NASA's own

A handshake to one who may be a future Astronaut!
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Astronaut Lee M.E. Morin, M. D., Ph.D. (Captain, USN)
Deputy Assistant Secretary For Science
State Department, Washington, D. C.

Personal Data: Born September 9, 1952 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Married. Two children. Two grandchildren. An amateur machinist, he enjoys math, jogging.
Education: Graduated from the Western Reserve Academy, Hudson, Ohio in 1970; received a bachelor of science degree in mathematical/electrical science from the University of New Hampshire in 1974; a master of science degree in biochemistry from New York University in 1978, a doctorate of medicine and microbiology degrees from New York University in 1981 and 1982, respectively, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1988.
Organizations: Aerospace Medical Association, Force Recon Association, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Society of United States Naval Flight Surgeons.
Awards: Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (two awards), Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Liberation of Kuwait Medal, Southwest Asia Medal, and both Expert Pistol and Expert Rifle Medals.
Special Honors: Recipient of the 1994 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Award for Excellence in Military Medicine (also known as the Fisher Award), a finalist of the 1995 Innovations in American Government Award from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and Ford Foundation, received the 1996 Sustaining Membership Lecture Award for the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.
Experience: After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1974, Morin worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory now known as the Media Lab. Morin matriculated at New York University School of Medicine in 1974, received a Master of Science in Biochemistry in 1978, an M.D. in 1981, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1982. He then completed two years of residency training in General Surgery at the Bronx Municipal Hospital Center and at the Montefiore Hospital Medical Center in New York City.
In 1982, Morin received a Direct Commission in the Naval Reserve. In 1983, he entered active duty and attended the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, Connecticut. He was designated as an Undersea Medical Officer in 1983. He joined the crew of the USS HENRY M. JACKSON (SSBN-730) Precommissioning Unit at the Electric Boat Company Shipyards in Groton. He remained aboard as Medical Officer for both Blue and Gold crews until 1985 when the ship arrived at its home port in Bangor, Washington. During his tour aboard the USS HENRY M. JACKSON, Morin qualified as Diving Medical Officer, and also received his “Dolphins” as a qualified Submarine Medical Officer.
Morin then entered Flight Surgeon training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) in Pensacola, Florida. He received his “Wings of Gold” as a Naval Flight Surgeon in 1986, and remained on the staff at NAMI as Flight Surgeon/Diving Medal Officer until 1989. While at NAMI, he received his Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He then left active duty and entered private practice in occupational medicine in Jacksonville, Florida. He remained in the Naval Reserve, and drilled with the United State Marine Corps with the Third Force Reconnaissance Company in Mobile, Alabama.
In August 1990, he was recalled to active duty during Operation Desert Shield, when he was assigned to Branch Clinic, Naval Air Station Pensacola as a Flight Surgeon. Morin volunteered to reenter active duty, and was assigned to Administrative Support Unit, Bahrain, as Diving Medical Officer/Flight Surgeon during Operation Desert Storm and during the post-war build-down period.
In 1992, Morin rejoined the staff at NAMI, initially as Special Projects Officer. He was named the Director of Warfare Specialty Programs when NAMI became Naval Aerospace and Operational Medical Institute (NAOMI). In 1995, Morin entered the Residency in Aerospace Medicine at the Naval Aerospace and Operational Medical Institute. He completed the residency in 1996.
NASA Experience: Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996, Morin reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Computer Support Branch, followed by the Astronaut Office Advanced Vehicles Branch, and ISS training tasks in the Shuttle Operations Branch of the Astronaut Office. Morin served on the EVA crew of STS-110 (2002) and has logged over 259 hours in space, including over 14 EVA hours. He is currently assigned as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, State Department, Washington D.C.
Space Flight Experience: STS-110 Atlantis (April 8-19, 2002) was the 13th Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station. Mission milestones included: the delivery and installation of the SO (S-Zero) Truss; the first time the station’s robotic arm was used to maneuver spacewalkers around the station; and the first time that all of a shuttle crew’s spacewalks were based from the station’s Quest Airlock. Morin performed 2 EVAs totaling 14 hours and 9 minutes. The crew prepared the station for future spacewalks and spent a week in joint operations with the station’s Expedition-4 crew. Mission duration was 10 days, 19 hours and 42 minutes.

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THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FAIR – April 2, 2005 - From 10:00am to 3:00pm, children and adults played with and learned from several interactive games. Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power had a Kiosk with a Space Exploration Game. NASA Glenn Research Center exhibited a Photobooth and Quizdom game. and brought along EVA! The Mohawk Valley Astronomical Society exhibited telescopes. Event Chair Jennifer Herzog, HCCC Biology Professor, judged entries, presented ribbons and certificates to student Fair entries. Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (Chairman of the House Science Committee), and Astronaut George Zamka were at the museum for viewing of entries and a 4th floor presentation. View Mars Rover exhibit. Download Agenda.

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George D. Zamka (Lieutenant Colonel, USMC) * NASA Astronaut (Pilot)

Personal Data: Born 1962 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Married to the former Elisa P. Walker of Mississippi. They have two children. Recreational interests include weight lifting, running, bicycling, scuba and boating. His mother, Sofia Zamka and brother Conrad Zamka both live in Florida. His father, Conrad Zamka, resides in Indiana. Education: Graduated from Rochester Adams High School, Rochester, Michigan, in 1980; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy in 1984; received a Masters of Science degree in Engineering Management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1997. Organizations: United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, Marine Corps Association, and Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Special Honors: Navy Strike Air Medal (6), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, and various other military service and campaign awards. Distinguished Graduate, United States Naval Academy. Commodore's list and Academic Achievement Award, Training Air Wing Five. Twice awarded NASA's Superior Accomplishment Award. Experience: Zamka was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in May 1984. After basic flight training, he was trained as an A-6E pilot at hidbey Island, Washington in 1987-88. He then flew with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron VMA(AW)-242 in El Toro, California. He served in administration and flight safety roles and was the Squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor. In 1990, he trained to be an F/A-18 pilot and was assigned to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA(AW)-121, also in El Toro. He flew the F/A-18D Night Attack Hornet during overseas deployments to Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Southwest Asia. Zamka flew 66 combat missions over occupied Kuwait and Iraq during Desert Storm. In 1993 he served with First Battalion, Fifth Marines in Camp Pendleton, California and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in the Western Pacific. He was selected to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilot School class 94A and graduated in December 1994. Zamka was then assigned as an F/A-18 test pilot/project officer and the F/!-18 Operations Officer for the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron (NSATS). While assigned to NSATS, Zamka flew a wide variety of tests in the F/A-18 Hornet to include high angle of attack, loads, flutter, crew equipment, and weapon system programs. Major Zamka returned to VMFA(AW)-121 in 1998 and was serving as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer, deployed to Iwakuni, Japan when selected for the astronaut program. He has over 3500 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.

NASA Experience: Selected as a pilot by NASA in June 1998, he reported for astronaut candidate training in August 1998. He has served in various technical and leadership roles in the astronaut office, to include space rendezvous and proxmity operations, landing and rollout instructor, and lead for shuttle systems within the Shuttle Operations Branch. Currently, Zamka serves as lead for the shuttle training and procedures division and as supervisor for the astronaut candidate class of 2004. He will continue to serve in various assignments until assigned to a space flight. Visitors met Astronaut Zamka at our April 2nd, 05 Science & Technology Fair!

Letter * Project Steps * Project Hints * Writing Reports * Display Boards * Project Ideas * Prepare

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View pictures below of The Children's Museum Science & Technology Fair, held March 27, 2004

9-year olds Mark Martin & Ryan Stalker w/their "Whirling Tornadoes" science & technology exhibit entry

9-year old Tess Denton w/her "Echolocation" science

Executive Director Marlene Brown greets Astronaut Ken Cockrell, NASA's Lead Scientist for the Mars Rovers Dr. James Garvin, & Congressman Sherry Boehlert

Astronaut Ken Cockrell, Dr. James Garvin, & Congressman Sherry Boehlert get their NASA Mars photo taken!

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center folks pose with Astronaut Cockrell, Congressman Boehlert, Dr. Garvin, Director Brown

Staff & visitors enjoyed shaking hands w/a real astronaut

Staff and visitors delighted to greet our visiting dignataries

Lutheran Care folks get a special hello from our dignataries

Astronaut Cockrell, Congressman Boehlert, & Dr. Garvin greet the students who submitted Science/Technology Fair projects

On our 4th floor, Congressman Boehlert greets the crowd

Astronaut Cockrell & Dr. Garvin enjoy our 4th floor exhibits

Astronaut Cockrell presents Director Brown w/a special gift

A collage of items he took with him in space!

Dr. Garvin tells us about the successful Mars Rover missions

Congressman Boehlert shares his experiences as Chairman of the House Science Committee

Our 4th floor floor was alive with special NASA folks

Congressman Boehlert & Dr. Garvin unveil our new Mars Rover exhibit, one of only two in the world!

Dr. Garvin shares his enthusiasm for our Space Science exhibits

After the ceremony, the crowd gathers and thanks them

L: in line for autographs; Above: Dr. Garvin shares with Andy Trinkaus & Director Brown while WKTV films us for the news

Astronaut Cockrell, left, and Dr. Garvin, above, signing autographs for an eager audience

Dr. Garvin presents 1st place award for the "Whirling Tornadoes" entry in our Science/Technology Fair

Astronaut Cockrell presents 2nd place award for "Echolocation" entry in our Science/Technology Fair

Bill Carswell, from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, demonstrating a candle/energy exhibit

Chris McLemore, from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, & Betty Grisham manning the NASA Mars Photo Booth

CM educator manning our Planetarium crafts

CM educator manning our Geology table

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Project Steps

1. Selecting A Topic The first step in preparing a good science fair project is to select a topic for your project. Being the first 'hurdle' a student faces when starting a science fair project and they are often faced with quite a dilemma. Choosing a good project is a very important because is can make the difference between a good and excellent project. First of all, you should pick a topic you are interested in. Secondly, it doesn't have to be complicated. Students often select complicated projects and then end up not fully understanding the concepts or even giving up on the project. The Ideas page has a list of generic project ideas that can be either simplified or expanded upon to fit your needs.

2. Research your Topic. - After selecting your topic, learn everything about it. Books on your topic can most likely be found in your local library or bookstore. The best source for information is here on the Internet. You can use the many search engines available to find information or try our Science Links page with a vast amount of links to various science related sites on the Internet.

3. Make A Plan - Once you consider yourself an 'expert' about your topic, make a plan as to how you will conduct your experiment. Your plan should include the following: 

·         The purpose of your experiment 

·         The the variable(s) or the things that you are going to change during the

·         Your Hypothesis or what you think the outcome of the project will be. 

·         A detailed procedure outlining how you will conduct the experimentation. 

4. Conduct the Experiments - The next step is to follow the plan that you have written. While conducting the experiments make your you keep detailed notes on everything that you observe. You may even want to take pictures or make sketches of your observations. These notes are vital to your experiment because they are needed when you write your report and make your display.

5. Analyze Your Results - Once you are finished with the experiment, organize your notes. You may want to recopy your notes so that they are more organized and can be easily understood by others. Then, analyze them. Ask yourself, what happened, did the results agree with your hypothesis, and so on. Make graphs and charts to represent the data to help you analyze it.

6. Write A Report - Write a detailed report about your project. Tell exactly what you did, how you did it, and what you discovered. Be sure you write all about your plan and your experiment. Include your data, and perhaps some charts and graphs to help readers interpret the information. Be sure you also include some of the background information you learned.

7. Make your Display - The Display crucial to your success at the fair because it tells about your project. The display must be neat and well organized. It should include background
information, the problem, your hypothesis, your procedure, your results, your conclusion, your report, and graphs and charts. You can also include photos or drawings of your experiments. For more information on creating your display, see our Display Hints page.

8. Rehearse Your Presentation - When you make your presentation to the judges, it is important that you are prepared and know what you are going to say before you have to say it. By rehearsing your presentation, you get an opportunity to 'work the bugs out' and become to feel comfortable talking about your project. You should start out rehearsing by yourself and then find volunteers to to be mock judges and present it to them. You will calmer and more composed on the science fair day if you are prepared and know what you are going to say.

9. Do your BEST! - At the science fair, try to be as calm and professional as possible. Know what you are talking about and be confident, you will do fine!

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Project Hints Here are some helpful hints when doing a science fair project:

Choose A Topic that Interests YOU
The topic that you choose for your science fair project should be one that is of interest to you. If you have ever tried to do something that did not interest you, chances are that you did not do your best. When participating in a science fair, to have a chance at winning you have to give it your all, or in other words- do your best. It is much easier to do your best when you are actually interested in the topic you are studying.

Do your own work
When you are at the fair, and are asked to speak about your project, how can you talk about it if you didn't actually do it yourself? Getting help on a few specific aspects of your project is okay, there is nothing wrong with that, but it has to be YOU who does the project, not a parent.

Give yourself plenty of time
For your project to be the best you can make it, you must allow yourself plenty of time to get it done. A good project can't be done the night before the fair or even a few days before. A good project requires weeks of planning and experimentation to be successful.

Your Project doesn't have to be complex
The purpose of a science fair is to help you (the student) to learn about a specific topic. Often times, students choose very difficult and tedious projects because they think that it will help them to do better at the fair. In theory, it is a good ideas, but more often then not, the student becomes overwhelmed with the project and ends up not learning very much about it. It is better to pick a simpler project and be able to speak confidently on Science Fair Day then do choose a difficult one and be unsure.

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Writing Reports - A good research paper should include all of the following:

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Display Boards

The purpose of your display is to display your project to a judge. Content, or the information on the board is the most important thing. Many boards look good but don't have very much information. Your display board should look professional, something that a businessperson might use, not a little kid. It should attract the attention of a viewer and make them want to come over and read about your project. It is good to use color in your display but you shouldn't make it too colorful because it will make your display lose its professionalism. Stick to one or two colors that contrast, such as black and white or red and green. Avoid fluorescent colors because they make your project look cheap. Whatever you do, don't use colors that clash. Use colors sparingly, you don't want the judges focusing on the colors instead of the content. The title is very important in a display board. It should be eye-catching and easy to read. Be sure that the letters are large enough to read across a room. Use dark colors for the title. Most display boards are of a 3 panel configuration and the traditional way to setup this type of board is:

Left Panel Purpose

Center Panel

Right Panel Results

Before you begin, make sure you plan out your board including making sketches. This can save you money if you mess up a board.


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Project Categories: Astronomy (Planets, Space, Sky Watching), Life Science (Living Things, Animals, Insects), Earth Science (Minerals, Geology, Fossils), Chemistry (Energy), Biology, Physics, Environment, Communicating Science, Health, Technology, Agriculture, Engineering.

Project Ideas

Remember, your science fair project should start with a question. What topic interests you most? What have you always wondered about that topic? Once you've decided the question you want to answer, everything from the hypothesis to the procedure will flow from there.


Animals and Insects


Earth, Sun, and Stars


Food and Our Bodies


Oceans, Rivers, Streams


Plants and Gardening


Water Quality





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Prepare a Science Fair Project

1. Select a Topic - A Science Fair Project is a test you do to find an answer to a question, not just show what you know about something.


2. Gather Background Information - Gather information about your topic from books, magazines, the Internet, people and companies.Keep notes about where you got your info


3. Scientific Method
State the Purpose of your experiment - What are you trying to find out?
Select a variable (something you will change/vary) that will help you find your answer.
State your Hypothesis - your guess about what the answer will be.
Decide on and describe how you will change the thing you selected.
Decide on and describe how you will measure your results.


4. Run Controlled Experiment and Record Data
Do the experiment as described above.
Keep notes in one place. Write down everything you can think of, you might need it later.


5. Graphs and Charts- What happened? Answer that question, then put the results in graphs and charts.


6. Construct an Exhibit or Display
It has to be neat, but it does NOT have to be typed. Make it fun, but be sure people can understand what you did. Show that you used the Scientific Method.


7. Write a short Report- Tell the story of your project - tell what you did and exactly how you did it. Include a page that shows where you gathered background information. It can be 2 pages or even more.


8. Practice Presentation to Judges - Practice explaining your project to someone (parent, friend, grandparent, etc.) This will help you be calm on Science Fair Day. The judges are very nice and will be interested in what you did and what you learned.


9. Come to the Children’s Museum Science & Technology Fair and have fun! See you there!

* Download Introductory Level Info * Download Sample Project

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The Children's Museum of History, Living History, Science & Technology
311 Main Street, Utica, NY 13501
Tel: 315-724-6129
* Email: Director Brown * Web:

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