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At Schenectady's miSci, 'The Science and Wizardry of Harry Potter' comes to life

At Schenectady's miSci, 'The Science and Wizardry of Harry Potter' comes to life

'The entire museum is going to be transformed'
At Schenectady's miSci, 'The Science and Wizardry of Harry Potter' comes to life
Titus Grondahl's steampunk-inspired wand-making studio.
Photographer: kendall mckernon

Spells will be cast, students will be sorted, and mischief will be managed at miSci on Saturday.

The museum is hosting "The Science and Wizardry of Harry Potter" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., bringing J.K. Rowling’s popular series to life and giving a glimpse at some of the science behind it.  

“The entire museum is going to be transformed,” said Dan Beck, “We want people to be blown away.” 

As the director of membership and special events, Beck began planning this event after last year’s “Sci-fi at miSci” event went so well. Attendees came in Star Wars costumes for a day of science fiction themed experiments and activities. 

“For me, Star Wars was my cultural touchstone growing up. For my kids, it’s Harry Potter,” Beck said. 

When attendees enter the museum on Saturday, they’ll be given a certain Marauder's Map, depending on their age. They have to use the map to navigate the wizarding world and master at least seven out of the 13 spells. Once the attendees have mastered the spells, they can be sorted into their proper houses—Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin—by the sorting hat. 

But mastering the spells won’t necessarily be an easy task. Younger attendees will go through a series of test questions called the O.W.Ls or Ordinary Wizarding Levels and the older attendees will take the N.E.W.Ts  or the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests.

They’ll answer themed scientific questions in order to master spells like “wingardium leviosa,” which will trigger a Bernoulli blower to make a ball levitate. 

As no wizard is complete without a wand, there will be a wandmaker at miSci from Grondahl’s Wizard Shop. The wandmaker, Titus Grondahl, will do what all great wandmakers do; help the wand find the wizard. 

There will also be a Fantastic Beasts and the Care of Magical Creatures presentation by Uncharted Wild, as well as a magic show from Jeffrey Jene Magic, a Houdini Award-winning magician. The magic continues with alchemy, potion making, reanimation and manifestation demonstrations. 

People are encouraged to come in costume, whether it be as Hermonie Granger or Sirius Black, Professor Dumbledore or Luna Lovegood. Beck said attendees can also come in wizarding costumes that aren’t from Harry Potter, like Gandalf from “The Lord of the Rings,” and others.  

To enter the event, attendees must pay the museum’s general admissions fee of $12 for adults and $8 for children. The Fantastic Beast demonstrations, as well as the magic show, is $6 per person per show. MiSci is located at 15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady.  For more info visit The Science and Wizardry of Harry Potter event page on Facebook. 

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