Where did electricity come from? How has it evolved to allow cities, towns and villages to operate today?
These are just a few of the things guests can learn at the New York Energy Zone Visitors Center in Utica.
The facility is now open to the public on a limited schedule, but will be expanding hours in the near future. It's geared toward kids ages 4 and up and the center is planning to host quite a few field trips and group tours.
Once you walk in, the tours begin with the showing of a 3D movie taking you back in time. Visitors will learn the differences between things like alternating and direct currents and how electricity first evolved.
From there, it's all hands-on giving everyone a chance to learn in a fun way. There are more than 30 interactive exhibits where you can try building your own micro grid or become a control room operator.
You can also learn quite a bit of history about New York Power Authority.
"This facility really is engaging students in STEM. And, I think that's what's super important here is for us to bring STEM education to our young children so that they can be our next leaders and hopefully NYPA employees in the future," said NYPA Community Government Relations Director Mario Roefaro.
This new facility is located right next to the Utica Zoo and is the Power Authority's fourth visitor center in the state. The center also has a STEM classroom on its lower level, and officials are looking forward to working with school districts in the future.
Admission is free and it will be open only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for now.
If you're interested in checking out the center, you can make a reservation online by visiting the New York Power Authority website and clicking on the ‘Communities’ tab. You can also call the center at 315-792-8720.