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THE ECHO BLOG

THE MAKINGS OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP

POSTED MARCH 27 AT 5:00 PM

As the AmeriCorps member here at ECHO I have the privilege…

READ MORE +

FOR IMMEDIATE
RELEASE

October 19, 2009

Contact: Steven Leibman or Todd Carroll
802.864.1848 ext. 125 or 131
sleibman@echovermont.org or tcarroll@echovermont.org

High definition photos available at
www.echovermont.org/visitors/photos.html

CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH-CANADIAN VERSION

ART & SCIENCE COMBINE IN “CONTRAPTIONS!”

New ECHO Exhibit Opens November 14

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A contraption is often defined as “a device more ingenious than practical.” “Contraptions!” — the newest exhibit at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain — is a unique fusion of art and science, where visitors can experience an interactive, Rube Goldberg-esque world of gadgets, gizmos, doodads, and whatchamacallits: contraptions that are often the roots of invention. The exhibit, opening November 14, features the innovative, folk art-like works of Clifford Wagner from Science Interactives, and futuristic creations from Vermont artists Janet Van Fleet and Dave Blumenthal. "Contraptions!" is sponsored by Conant Metal & Light, Inc.

ECHO Executive Director Phelan Fretz says: “With its eclectic mix of art and innovation, “Contraptions!” is sure to delight, educate, and inspire young-and-old alike.”

Among a dizzying array of exhibit experiences, “Contraptions!” visitors will encounter…

  • The Drum Machine: Conduct a huge percussion ensemble with six rows of instruments and 96 switches.
  • TopoMaker: Transform 3-D objects into topographs with this state-of-the-art work by Dave Blumenthal of Montpelier, VT.
  • Berserko Ball Bouncer: Turn a crank and motorized wheels bounce balls at super speed inside a “B”-shaped box. When you change the angle and speed, you change the way the balls bounce. Do you know why?
  • Disc Dance: Explore light and motion in this eye-catching work by acclaimed artist Janet Van Fleet, of Cabot, VT.

As with all ECHO exhibits, visitors can deepen their experience through hands-on educational programs for all ages, such as constructing contraptions, making thaumatropes — optical devices that melds two images into one — and learning more about simple machines through interactive experiments. Additional “Contraptions!”-related programming includes speakers, competitions, and public events that celebrate the ingenuity of our creative minds.

Components of this exhibit installation were produced by the Environmental Exhibit Collaborative (EEC!): a group of four science centers — including ECHO — and children’s museums, in partnership with local artists. EEC! exhibits are made possible by major support from Jane’s Trust, with additional support provided by the Cabot Family Charitable Trust and IBM. “Contraptions A to Z” was designed by Clifford Wagner Scientific Interactives Inc.

# # #

ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is located at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, on Vermont’s Burlington Waterfront. ECHO features 70 live species, more than 100 interactive experiences, changing and permanent exhibits and seasonal events — all exploring the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin. The 2.2 acre Leahy Center environmental campus is also highlighted by the Lake Champlain Basin Program Resource Room, UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, ECHO’s Eclectic Gift Shop, and ecology-themed Think! Café. Open year-round, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day. For more information visit echovermont.org, call 1.877.324.6386, or write to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, One College Street, Burlington, VT 05401.
 

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