A Scintillating Search for Science on Segways
Who says science is stodgy?
Between now and November, Boston’s Museum of Science, a Boston CityPASS featured attraction, is leading parades of Segway® riders on exhilarating, daily, freewheeling tours of local scientific sites. For $65, visitors receive a required, 30-minute Segway riding and safety lesson before buzzing off through Cambridge and along the Charles River on an hour-long guided tour. Riders are equipped with headsets to hear the guides describe local science and technology highlights, including:
- the history of Boston and the engineering involved in turning the area from a marsh-encircled peninsula into today’s landmark city;
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) innovations in architecture, media, and educational practices; and
- the natural history of the Charles River Basin, and the impact of urbanization on the area’s plants and animals.
The Segway Experience is the first time the museum has used Segways outside to explore science and technology. As the program develops, more routes and tours will be added.
Segways are more than a novel means of transportation — they offer the ability to cover routes too long to navigate by foot, and take visitors to places that otherwise would be difficult to reach by car or bus.
Plus, Segways are a heck of a lot of fun. There are only a couple of limitations to ride – you need to be between 100 and 260 pounds, and be at least 14 years of age.
Segway Personal Transporters are safe, eco-friendly, electric vehicles that use gyroscopic sensors to propel riders on two parallel wheels. They are surprisingly easy to operate. One simply steps aboard and subtly shifts his/her weight from toe to heel, making the machine go softly forward or backwards. A Segway’s motion is smooth, not jerky, and a quick crouch will stop it on a dime. An easy lean of the handle turns the machine either gradually or sharply. Or, one can easily stand still and be completely balanced.
The one thing to remember is to leave plenty of space around the machine. The only time riders get into trouble is when they bump against curbs or into other riders.
“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.”
Founded in 1830, the Museum of Science was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Elihu Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema, and Butterfly Garden.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.mos.org, at the museum box office, or by calling 617-723-2500. Tours will operate daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.
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