SCHENECTADY —It's Frankenstein's birthday, and miSci is throwing a party.
The Schenectady-based Museum of Innovation and Science on Saturday will host a special celebration of the 200-year anniversary of Mary Shelley's famous horror-fiction novel.
The Saturday event, called Frankenstein's Footlocker, will include a series of activities aimed at raising questions and sparking conversation about responsible innovation and scientific exploration.
From building an early battery to designing mechanical devices that mimic the movements of people or animals, visitors to the exhibit will be asked to consider ethical dilemmas of modern science, based on the concept that scientific innovations have the potential to do both good and bad.
"Obviously, technology isn't bad nor good nor neutral," miSci President Mac Sudduth said. "Every discovery has the potential for great good and for great abuse."
The miSci event is part of a national program, called Frankenstein200, that was developed by Arizona State University and the National Science Foundation. The program includes an online game that moves participants through an imaginary scenario in which a Frankenstein descendant runs a modern lab, continuing the work of the original Dr. Frankenstein. The museum will host a kiosk Saturday so visitors can experience the interactive game.
Sudduth said the main goal of the event is to encourage kids to experiment and build; the activities will give them a chance to build a battery and program simple tasks into a small robot.
"We think the activities will spark thought and what we call the 'What if?' questions," Sudduth said. "That's what science is all about."
The miSci event will go from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with the museum opening at 9 a.m.
The online game is available at frankenstein200.org. The Frankenstein event is included in the museum's general admission cost.