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Geared for Growth: Rochester Museum & Science Center Hosts Three-Day ROC the Eclipse Fest

April 3, 2024

Rochester Museum & Science Center has been preparing for the solar eclipse on Monday for the past five years and is ready for hundreds of thousands of visitors streaming into our region this weekend. RMSC President & CEO Hillary Olson was featured on Geared for Growth on Wednesday, April 3rd as part of Greater Rochester Chamber’s ongoing partnership with FOX Rochester/13WHAM. Olson shared more about her background and the museum’s history, the museum’s ROC the Eclipse festival, and the impact that the eclipse will have on our region.

Olson shared that she first discovered her passion for science and astronomy on a field trip to the Strasenburgh Planetarium at the RMSC when she was

in 5th grade. Since then, she has pursued a degree in Astronomy and successfully led several other science museums before returning back home to Rochester as a boomerang in 2018. “I’m home. All of it coming together has just been incredible,” Hillary said about returning to the Greater Rochester region.

Rochester Museum and Science Center started preparing for the April 8th total solar eclipse in 2019, over five years ago. Olson shared that when they began planning, they were met with skepticism from the general public and it has been rewarding to see the whole community come together and rally around this event as it has gotten closer. “People are really getting into it and asking a lot of questions,” she shared, “What we’re most excited about at the Science Center and Planetarium is that people are wondering about the sun, moon, and Earth, which is something we always want.”

To celebrate the eclipse, RMSC is hosting a three-day ROC the Eclipse festival on site with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Starting on Saturday, they will have indoor and outdoor activities and science experiments hosted by over 35 community partners. “It’s a family activity, it’s an adult activity,  there are so many things going on. It is a place where everyone is coming together to celebrate science,” Olson explained. Hillary also shared the schedule for the exciting speakers they are hosting: Dr. Phil Plait, the ‘Bad Astronomer’ on Saturday, Cate Larsen, ‘The Groovy Geologist’ on Sunday, and on Monday, NASA astronaut Dr. Lee M. Morin will talk to visitors about his life on the International Space Station.

To learn more about the ROC the Eclipse fest and purchase one- or three-day tickets, visit In addition to the 35 vendors at the festival, Rochester Museum and Science Center has also worked closely with Visit Rochester and other local agencies to ensure that residents and visitors know all about what’s happening throughout our region. For more information about the business opportunities from restaurants, retail locations, breweries, hotels, and other community events, visit

Be sure to tune into FOX Rochester every Wednesday morning at 8:45 AM to catch all segments of Geared for Growth showcasing Greater Rochester Chamber member growth stories.


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