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National Grid Donates $25K to EcoTarium for City Science Exhibit

Friday, April 25, 2014


National Grid officials present EcoTarium President Joe Cox with a $25K check for its future City Science exhibit. (l-r Robert McLaren and Ray Quinlan, EcoTarium trustees; Kevin Shaughnessy and Aleta Fazzone, National Grid; Joe Cox, EcoTarium president)

Visitors to the EcoTarium, Worcester's museum of science and nature, will be able to discover connections between urban environments and their many occupants, including people, plants and animals, thanks in part to a $25,000 donation from National Grid.

The gift supports the museum's future City Science exhibit, an interactive exploration of cities that uses Worcester as its backdrop. National Grid presented the gift yesterday, surrounded by families enjoying Earth Week activities at the EcoTarium.

"Getting involved in local communities is enormously important to National Grid, and in the EcoTarium, we saw the opportunity to help educate Massachusetts residents both young and old," said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. "With our Smart Energy Solutions program ramping up in Worcester, we're finding new ways to engage with customers around the science that powers cities."

Hidden science of cities

Currently in the prototyping phase, City Science will uncover the hidden science of cities from many different perspectives: above, below and at street level. The exhibit will explore questions, such as: What keeps our buildings and bridges standing? How does electricity and water come into our homes? What is a better solution for a problem road intersection? How do trees affect temperature - and our air conditioning bills?

Hands-on stations

With hands-on experiment stations, visitors will be able to discover and investigate the science they encounter in their everyday lives, but rarely stop to consider. For example, the "Hidden City Networks" and "Neighborhoods" portions of the exhibit will address topics that are particularly relevant to National Grid and its Worcester Smart Energy Solutions program, such as sustainable energy, utility infrastructure and more.

"This gift will help us bring cutting-edge science to our visitors and create innovative ways to engage them in conversations about building a better city," said EcoTarium president Joseph Cox. "How to shape the quality of life and efficiency in urban settings are important issues today, and we applaud National Grid for being part of this exciting opportunity to let people of all ages imagine the solutions."

EcoTarium visitors can help design the future City Science exhibit by trying out some of the interactive prototypes in the Exhibit Development Zone on the museum's middle level.

The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m.


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