Museum of Science Partners With Segway of Boston To Create Science and Technology-Based Tours

April 7, 2011

Tours Open to the Public Friday, April 15, 2011

BOSTON—April 7, 2011— The Museum of Science has teamed up with Segway® of Boston to offer the Museum of Science Segway® Experience, educational tours through Cambridge using innovative personal transportation vehicles. Developed by Museum of Science exhibit and program staff, the tour will take riders on a one-hour excursion, showcasing the area's connections with science, technology, and engineering. The tour will also emphasize the rich history, key landmarks, local architecture, wildlife, and diverse habitats of Cambridge, Boston, and surrounding areas. Tours will depart from the Museum of Science four times per day, everyday. While Museum staff have used Segways inside the building since 2004, the Segway Experience presents the first time Museum staff and visitors will bring Segways outside to explore science and technology beyond Museum walls.

"Partnership with Segway of Boston is a natural extension of the Museum's work," said Paul Fontaine, the Museum's vice president of education. "Segway Experience will allow us to provide visitors with a unique Museum of Science experience outside the Museum's doors, expanding our "collection" to sites, objects and locations never before possible."

The Museum's Segway Experience begins with a required 30-minute small group training that includes an overview of Segway technology, demonstrations, and Segway safety, as well as practice sessions. Riders will then embark on a one-hour tour, gliding along the streets of Cambridge. Using headsets, riders will listen as trained tour guides describe local science and technology connections, including:

  • The history and engineering involved in turning Boston from a peninsula surrounded by marshes into the city we see today
  • MIT innovations in architecture, media, educational practice and creative hacking
  • The natural history of the Charles River Basin and how urbanization has both positively and negatively impacted plants and animals in the area

Each tour guide will be equipped with an iPad loaded with images and maps that further explain or illustrate the history and science of the area.

"We are looking forward to this new venture with the Museum of Science,"said MaryBeth Alosa, owner of Segway of Boston. "The public will now be able to see Cambridge in a close-up and interactive way. The Segway offers the chance to cover routes too long to navigate by foot, and takes you to places unreachable by car or bus."

Founded in 2003, Segway of Boston was one of the first Segway dealers in the country. Segway of Boston offers Authorized Segway Guided Tours, a distinction obtained through Segway, Inc., having met high standards in safety and training, and is the only authorized tour provider in Massachusetts. The company has twice been named the Northeast Segway Dealer of the Year.

About Segway Personal Transporters

Segway Personal Transporters are safe, eco-friendly, easy to maneuver, electric vehicles designed for individual riders, using gyroscopic sensors to propel riders on two parallel wheels. To steer, riders simply lean in the desired direction; sensors detect these micro adjustments to the rider's position and the vehicle reacts accordingly.

Guided by the Museum's commitment to making science and technology accessible and fun, Segway Experience will inform the public about the principles and engineering of the device itself, while the machine will allow riders to explore the area's technology and engineering landscape. The Segway Personal Transporter allows visitors to cover more ground in a shorter window of time than walking, and provides the public with an opportunity to use new technology that is seldom accessible. New tours and routes will be added as the program develops.

Segway Experience tickets are on sale now, $65 for general public; $60 for Museum of Science members. Tickets may be purchased online at www.mos.org, at the Museum box office, or call 617-723-2500. Tours will operate daily at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. The maximum speed of a Segway is 12.5 miles per hour. To bring the Segway to a stop, riders simply stand up straight. Participants must be at least 14 years of age and weigh between 100 - 260 pounds. A parent or adult guardian must accompany those under 18 years of age on the tour. For their own safety, expectant mothers are not permitted on Segway tours.

About the Museum of Science, Boston

The Museum takes a hands-on approach to science, engineering and technology, attracting about 1.5 million visitors a year via its programs and 700 interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum's "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy® aims to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages and inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and scientists. The Museum is ranked #3 by Parents Magazine in its list of the country's Ten Best Science Centers. For more information, visit mos.org, www.facebook.com/museumofscience, or follow us on Twitter at @museumofscience.

Press Contacts

Sofiya Cabalquinto: 617/589-0251 or scabalquinto@mos.org

Lauren Crowne: 617/589-0250 or lcrowne@mos.org

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