National Geographic MAPS: Tools for Adventure Opens October 2

National Museum of Play News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

September 7, 2010

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359

National Geographic MAPS: Tools for Adventure
Opens at National Museum of Play® at the Strong October 2

Pilot Amelia Earhart’s plane, trek across the Congo, investigate life on Mars, search for Blackbeard’s ship, and discover the Great Pyramids—all with the help of maps!

Experience a world of adventure on land, in the air, in space, and at sea when the internationally touring exhibit National Geographic MAPS: Tools for Adventure arrives at National Museum of Play at the Strong October 2 through January 9. Interactive displays, artifacts from famous explorations, and dynamic mapping activities invite you to navigate your way through new technologies and ancient mapping techniques. (Get a free safari hat and enjoy special family activities during the Opening Weekend Celebration Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3!)

The exhibit was specially designed as an engaging way to introduce school-aged kids to the excitement and importance of maps. According to the exhibit organizers, "Prompted by the alarming lack of geographic knowledge among our nation’s young people and the pressing need to protect the planet’s natural resources, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the world’s most recognized map experts joined forces to develop this extraordinary learning experience." Among the exhibit’s sections:

On Land: Explore the layers and shafts of the Great Pyramids with world-renowned archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Zahi Hawass. Step into a Congo trek tent or try your hand at tracking elephants and establishing a park for them like wildlife biologist Dr. J. Michael Fay.

In Air: Sit in a cockpit just like celebrated aviator Amelia Earhart. Trace her flight paths across the world on an oversized, interactive map, or try using a sextant to find your location in the world.

In Space: Meet NASA scientist Dr. Nathalie Cabrol and use geologic and topographical maps to navigate a Mars rover via computer.

At Sea: Climb into a Hawaiian canoe and steer towards the North Star like Nainoa Thompson, the first modern-day Polynesian to use way finding for long-distance, open-ocean voyaging. See artifacts from his journeys and learn about clues from nature that Thompson used to navigate the seas. Meet Phil Masters, who found Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. Use a virtual magnetometer to find shipwreck artifacts and treasure buried on the ocean floor and see real artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Explorers Headquarters: Families can work together on their own adventures. Chart your own past, present, and future explorations on Earth on a large world map; dress like an explorer and stand in front of a large-scale National Geographic cover for a group photo; or go on air, land, and sea family adventures using simulated computer games.

Artifacts on Display: Among the historic artifacts on view are a pair of aviator goggles worn by Amelia Earhart; a custom-built robot used by Zahi Hawass and his team to search the shafts of the Great Pyramids; an original, fold-out map from the second edition 1815 London printing of the account of Lewis and Clark’s expedition; a map made in China circa 1800 that shows part of the sea route of Zheng Ho, the famous Chinese explorer of the 1400s; a map of Narnia signed by the artist/illustrator Pauline Baynes; a 1617 example of a map of the North Polar Regions, the first map devoted to the Arctic regions and to show the world from a polar projection, by Gerard Mercator; an orbital chart that shows the path of Apollo 13 as it returned to the earth in 1970, signed by astronaut Fred Haise; and a musical map of Disneyland® made by Mattel® in 1955, the year Disneyland opened.

The exhibit was created by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in cooperation with the National Geographic Society and made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc., with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The National Museum of Play® at the Strong, located in downtown Rochester, New York, is the only museum in the world devoted solely to the study of play as it illuminates cultural history. 

Museum Hours:
Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Admission Fees:
General Admission (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®):
Adults $11; Seniors $10; Children (2–15) $9; Children younger than two free; Strong members free.

Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®:
General Admission fee plus $1.50 for members, $3 for nonmembers; Children under 2 free. Entry is by timed ticket only. Please call 585-263-2700 to reserve and purchase tickets.

Parking: Free parking is available at the museum for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that, on high visitation days, the museum lot may reach capacity early in the day. If space is not available on site at the time of your visit, you will be directed to additional parking at neighboring municipal garages (fees may apply).