The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) is a museum and science center in Rochester, NY, dedicated to local history, science and technology. The RMSC features over 1.2 million artifacts and objects in the collection, which are showcased in more than 200 exhibits, spectacular shows, displays and presentations through the year.

Exhibits focus on science, technology, engineering, and math and offer hands-on and interactive experiences for visitors to enjoy such as building robots, zapping lasers, climbing walls and traveling through space. The Rochester Museum & Science Center also operates the 900-acre Cumming Nature Center near Naples in New York, and the Strasenburgh Planetarium, which is situated next to the museum.


Established as the Rochester Municipal Museum in 1912, the museum was founded as a center for exhibiting and research in the fields of anthropology, biology, natural history, history, geology and industry of the Genesee Region. Under the directorship of W. Stephen Thomas, the museum’s collections in archaeology and anthropology, history, technology, natural science grew and in 1930, the name was changed to the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences, and then again to the Rochester Museum & Science Center in 1965, as it is known as today.

Richard C. Shultz added the 400-set Eisenhart Auditorium, the Gannett School classroom building and the Cumming Nature Center during his directorship between 1973 and 1996, as well as the addition of the Elaine Wilson Hall in the museum, and the giant-screen film system in the Strasenburgh Planetarium.

Exhibits / Collections

Permanent exhibits at the Rochester Museum & Science Center include ‘Science On a Sphere,’ which explores changes in ocean temperature, the paths of storms or the surface of Mars with an interactive globe and three-dimensional data projection system.

‘Simulator Rides,’ takes visitors on a virtual ride to the bottom of Lake Ontario, while the ‘Inventor Center’ gives visitors the chance to become an inventor and experience the exciting process of invention. The ‘Electricity Theater’ uses a twin solid-state Tesla to creates indoor bolts of musical lightning and a mesmerizing display of lightning. ‘How Things Work’ is an interactive exhibit that showcases the science behind everyday devices like light switches and thermostats.

The Strasenburgh Planetarium presents giant-screens films, Saturday Night Laser Shows, and star shows that take visitors to far away places beneath a vast a four-story dome. Visitors can enjoy stunning shows under the dome’s starry night sky against a background of classic rock music and beams of dazzling laser light.

Other permanent exhibits include ‘Illumination: The World of Light and Optics,’ which features interactive displays about color temperature, radio waves, reflection, and refraction; ‘The American Civil War: The Impact of the Industrial Revolution’, ‘Flight to Freedom: Rochester’s Underground Railroad’ and ‘At the Western Door.’

Temporary exhibits at the Museum include ‘Frogs: A Chorus of Colors,' ‘Da Vinci—The Genius,' ‘DINOSAURS,' ‘Math Midway’ and ‘Alien Worlds’ and ‘Androids.’ The Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase is located outside the Museum and presents the benefits of capturing and controlling stormwater runoff and green infrastructure.

The Strasenburgh Planetarium planetarium features star and laser light shows, and giant-screen films under a four-story dome and the Cumming Nature Center is a 900-acre nature preserve near Naples, New York that is dedicated to environmental education and features over six miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

Visitor Information

The Rochester Museum and Science Center is located at 657 East Avenue in Rochester and is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.

The city of Rochester has much to see and do from outdoor and recreational activities to arts and culture. Nearby attractions to the Seneca Park Zoo include the Harvester 56 Community Theater, the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, the CMAC Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center, the Eastman School of Music, Empire Magic, the Geva Theatre Center, and the Hochstein School School of Music and Dance. Outdoor and recreational activities range from hiking, mountain biking, paddling, kayaking, and golf.

657 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, Phone: 585-271-4320

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