STEP A. Create list of hurdles prior to go-ahead.

  1. What is needed for approval? Mayor, council?
  2. What I will do to help make it happen:
    1. assemble interim board members
    2. develop complete list of interim funding requirements
    3. obtain provisional funding (We Are Trenton, New Jersey Fund?)

STEP B. Contact interim board including:

  1. Trenton Div. of Parks, Recreation, Culture and Nat. Resources (Ellarslie Museum)
  2. Coordinator, Specifications & Grant Writer (myself)
  3. Member from the original Museum of Contemporary Science responsible for existing curricular outreach
  4. NJ Rep. of National Adult Education Association (representing tech schools, community colleges, academia, Edison)
  5. Sarnoff Museum (ex-curator).
  6. NJ Representative from the National Model Railroad Association
  7. NJ Engineering Professional Societies, Educational Chair
  8. Human Resources & Training rep. from Dow Jones, Inc.
  9. Mercer County (with ties to Johnson Atelier).  
  10. Media. (NJ Channel 13 historical shows director)
  11. State Chamber of Commerce

STEP C. WRITE Specifications

  1. detailed concept specifications for individual board member review
  2. cover letter
  3. Reach out to participating organizations.
  4. Distribute only concept overview and overview of their requested involvement.


STEP D. MEET & INTERVIEW potential interim board members

  1. Present detailed concept specifications
  2. Get feedback on feasibility, numbers, & new ideas.
  3. Describe pre-requisite info. needed by proposal writer
  4. Get commitment (or recommendation for another person)

STEP E.  SUBMIT TO CITY rough numbers of interim funding requirements

  1. best & worst-case time estimates before any grants come in.
  2. options for meeting the interim requirements  (Private, Fed., State, County, City)



  1. Schedule meeting of interim Board.



  1. Identify time and location.
  2. Get commitments from participants. Interview new board members if necessary.



  1. Purpose of the Meeting.
  2. Introduction of members and their independent objectives.                                                                                                                                                                                


a)       Creating a clearinghouse for educational multi-media curricula on economics  (funding options)

b)       Creating a Display Shop Course & Apprenticeship. Funding sources & options. First task: N.J. Nobel Wall of Fame.

c)       Sarnoff Exhibit requirements: storage, security . Funding sources & options.

d)       Issues regarding Ellarslie installations, storage, environmental requirements, security.

e)       Available models, architecture, industry, scientific - display area req'd . Any funding requirements.

f)        Available computer modeling examples, Princeton connections for econ. modeling exhibit. Any funding requirements, options.

g)       Resources and resource requirements for 1930 layout and model shop. (funding & equipment donation options outside traditional philanthropies and gov. grants)

h)       Chamber of Commerce. Major obstacles. Proposed plan of review.

i)         Marketing Coordination with the media. Preliminary to startup.

  1. Proposal schedule, review responsibilities (proposal review, submission dates, to possible funding dates)
  2. Interim funding, building access, storage, maintenance, security,
  3. Next Steps. Distribute draft of Organizational structure, By-Laws, Statement of Purpose, specifications in order to finalize board structure and members.
  4. Review schedule. Next meeting & Agenda.

Museum of Contemporary Science

Transition Plan:

The American Economy Museum of Science and Industry


Transitional Site Plan—Creating a Vibrant Community Education-Space. The goal of this transition plan is to demonstrate how we can attract fresh funding to the Roebling building, as well as bring a stream of visitors to this unique public space. It shows how to quickly fill the space with educational attractions, as well as attract rental incomes to support the museum projects underway.


The proposal will create a truly UNIQUE Presence in the Country. The museum’s statement of purpose is to create a central clearinghouse for the development of multi-media curricula in economics for K-12 and communities. Its central theme is a focus on careers and the underlying nature of their work, with a governing objective to maintain U.S. economic security. As such, the museum board will be able to solicit a wide range of new financial support, including

§         Dow Jones, NJ investment and banking industries

§         Public Policy Institutes and philanthropies

§         Federal and National funding agencies supporting educational and scientific advancement

§         Engineering Professional Associations

§         Trade unions, including teamsters, machinists, and construction trades

§         Science and Technology industries (already supporting the Museum of Contemporary Science)

§         Recreation and Entertainment industries (for their impact on US economy and careers)

§         Retailer associations (for their impacts on trade, US economy, and careers)


Themes focused on Commerce, Technology, and Careers. The museum transition proposal includes several major themes under its umbrella:

  1.  “Chamber of Science.” Sarnoff Museum. Permanent exhibits by the state’s major industries. The science of modeling. Models for economic theory, scientific theory, prototypes for testing and design. Exhibits of various types of already existing models from NJ companies.
  2. Trenton Makes the World Takes.” A train layout of 1930 Trenton – showing industrial history, with queuing theory games demonstrating traditional yard controls in Trenton and Morrisville yards. Exhibits of steel, ceramics, and rubber industries in Trenton from Ellarslie Museum.
  3. “Chamber of Commerce.” A revolving monthly “trade-show” renting space to chambers of commerce from states and countries wishing to trade in NJ. All displays would be subject to specifications, continuing their educational themes with those of the museum.
  4. Careers Court,” food court franchises sharing a theme—a career game for parents and kids, utilizing tables, chairs, and floor tiles for a game board, interactive paper products and menus with bar-code scanners providing answers and clues.
  5. Two working demonstration exhibits. 1) Model Shop, 2) Display Shop.


Building a Scale Model of Trenton, “on the cheap.” The biggest attraction for kids at the world-famous Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago was its giant train layout. We need only supply the space, the utilities, and the plywood, and hobby enthusiasts from around the entire region will combine  talents and club expertise to build us a scale model of 1930 Trenton with working canal locks, trolley lines, and factory railroad yards. Factory and neighborhood building reproductions will be added slowly as part of a community-wide effort, rallying train clubs from around the state (and nation). (see attached letter of support). Within the year we can expect to have a large train-layout with working trains on a plywood map of Trenton, creating our first marketing attraction. It can be a work-in-progress forever without ever losing its draw on kids of all ages. Funding. Funding for the start-up installation will be solicited from building and construction trades, architectural and engineering corporations, professional associations, and alumni of engineering schools. Rail clubs would donate labor, track, and the loan of running stock. The city of Chattanooga TN obtained federal funds to create two scale model layouts of 1870’s and modern-day in their Union Station  They charge $3 for adult admission. Marketing. Within a year’s time the City of Trenton will have created a major educational attraction for regional schools and a strong contender to attract teachers to bring school trips from the Philadelphia and North Jersey suburbs, combining the trip with the Barracks Museum or the Planetarium. Northlandz Inc. of Flemington, NJ is the largest U.S. commercial train layout, charging $13.75 adult admission; its record day was 2,100 visitors. Northlandz yearly sees an average of _____ out-of-state visitors; a large percentage of whom could be expected to combine trips with the Trenton museum’s layout.


Science and Technology Exhibits. The museum first act of the museum board would be to obtain the Sarnoff Museum, which is presently looking for a new home. Accompanying this would be a NJ Nobel Laureates Wall of Fame, with photographs and prizes won. Another immediate and inexpensive addition to the museum would be the Models and Science Displays.  Donations of architectural models will be solicited from NJ architectural firms, as advertising. Donations of scientific models will be solicited from labs and industries around the nation through the American Association for Advancement of Science. Computer modeling exhibit will be solicited from major computer program vendors, illustrating use of computer modeling across the sciences, and for kids, illustrating the connection to Hollywood special effects (solicited from Warner Bros., Disney, or a smaller organization wanting a PR venue. All the exhibits central to economic theory would be included under the umbrella of predictive modeling, allowing the major funding thrust to complete the upper gallery space. Material Science and Modeling in Art. A video of the Johnson Atelier, and the creation of its life-size human sculptures can be solicited from our local world-famous bronze foundry. Industry exhibits as Funds Permit.  The city will solicit displays from New Jersey’s major industries—pharmaceuticals, petrochemical, academia, agriculture and fisheries, power and light, etc. The originally-intended interactive hi-tech science exhibits can be thus be installed as funds permit. Funding: National Academy of Sciences, Annenberg, educational philanthropies, (previous supporters of Museum of Contemporary Science) Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Exxon Mobil, PSE&G, Verizon.


Creating a Lunchtime Attraction: The Careers Court. The intent of the transition plan is to design a learning space which attracts rental incomes. A food court is proposed which would integrate franchise owners into an overall education-based theme: that of a “careers game.” Food court contracts will include a commitment to the additional cost of custom paper-products from Trenton paper goods suppliers once the food court becomes a “Careers Court” game. The game turns bags, plates and cups into game-pieces, with quiz questions and bar-coded answers and clues. The floor tiles, tables, and benches will be color-coded to serve as a game-board. Educational Tie-ins.  Illustrating generic planning, coaching, and managerial skills will be part of the game itself. Players will learn that certain learned behaviors are generic to all work, and their teachers will be provided class follow-ups to show this includes school work. They will also learn that principles of good government (avoiding bedlam and anarchy) are the foundation of both economics and freedom. Funding: Funds to create the specialty game would be solicited from philanthropies supporting education, such as Geraldine R. Dodge, Pew Charitable Trust, Fund for New Jersey, NSF. Funding for the food court utilities would be an investment bank, to be paid back through leases to food franchises themselves.


Renting Space to State Chambers of Commerce and developing Nations. As an additional source of income, a large open display space is set aside alongside the food court for a “Chamber of Commerce.” A monthly trade show is envisioned which would invite states and countries to display their industrial history, products, services, and career opportunities. Displays are to be manned remotely with internet video hook-ups. Eventually, an exciting multi-level interior space is conceived to make this competitive with major national trade-show spaces.

                National exhibits from African, Asian, and Central American countries would attract New Jersey residents from those countries, as well as entrepreneurs looking for manufacturing sites, export partners, novel retail items. A permanent exhibit in the Chamber of Commerce would be devoted to Trenton’s new sister-city, Ashkhabad—and our attempt to create commercial links with the Republic of Turkestan. This section of the museum, which includes the food court, could be entered without paying the museum entrance fee. Educational Tie-ins. Participating state and nation Chambers of Commerce would be given a list of educational objectives to be met by their exhibits, tying into the theme of industrial and commercial history as well as science careers. Funding. Space rental at nominal fee to participants, who would contribute to supporting the museum’s growth by buying regional advertising for their show and the museum.


The “Living Museum. As soon as practicable, a working model shop would be set up. It’s long-term goal is to create a working demonstration of industrial equipment and labs, with examples of mold-making, plastics extrusion, blueprint making, and the various industrial processes underlying toy design (i.e. miniature cars, trucks, etc). A display is envisioned around the hi-tech future of miniature manufacturing, as a bridge between the model-making shop and the engineering exhibit. An Apprenticeship Program from Year One. Contributing to the funding of the project, is another demonstration workshop exhibit. It is proposed that bids for a trade-school course in signage, lighting, and display manufacture be entertained from regional tech schools, such that the museum’s own growth and the support of monthly trade shows can fund an apprenticeship program and pay for scholarships. The program’s own display services will be marketed to organizations, communities, and companies around the state, who are constantly in the need of lobby, trade, and historical displays. Educational Tie-ins. A small historical exhibit on signage of the 20th century, furniture and product design is conceived to tie media and arts to engineering education. It would be created by course participants during the first year, and tied to an exhibit on Signage engineering, to be solicited from the United States Sign Council headquartered in nearby Bristol, PA. Funding:  Unused older equipment would be solicited as tax deductions from machinists and manufacturers around the state. Funding for the display shop trade school could be obtained through traditional small business banking channels.


Curriculum Development Clearing House.  The conceptual umbrella binding the American Economy Museum together is the concept of an “Education Space” for the development and testing of a unified curriculum in science and economics. Funding for the museum staff would be solicited from major federal grants in education, science, and public policy. Center for Industrial Training. A secondary strategic goal is to attract private commercial training organizations to Trenton. The engineering focus of the museum may provide enough incentive for The Center for Professional Advancement to move their headquarters from New Brunswick to Trenton. The Center is unique in offering specialized technical seminars around the country to engineers from all over the world. By combining growing “living museum” factory facilities into educational spaces, we can offer incentives to world manufacturers to bring training and marketing of their new technologies to Trenton as well. The goal of becoming a world center for industrial education will quickly translate into entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic rebirth throughout our region.



Harry Jackendoff is an industrial trainer from Trenton, NJ, and author of Bacon & Eggheads. Cracking the Shell of SocioEconomic Illiteracy—a Community Educational Paradigm, (Princeton, 2003).


Comparison Table

This table has been included to demonstrate to the supporters of the original project, The Museum of Contemporary Science, that their investment and efforts have been integrated wherever possible into the transition plan for a Museum of Science and Industry.  It is fully expected that by the end of the decade, the original plan for the Museum of Contemporary Science will be taken off the shelf and fully operational.

Museum of Contemporary Science OBJECTIVE

Included in Transition Plan

Transition Plan


face-to-face exposure with the real world



excitement for chance to participate in its challenges



make critical choices about health habits and behaviors


Outside of the permanent pharmaceutical/biotech industry exhibits, the Museum of Science & Industry is weighted towards commerce and careers

Consider career options and higher educational choices



Ignite passion, curiosity and yearning to touch the future; to become a part of the future

see alternative

Children and adults would be brought face to face with a feeling of empowerment, realizing that the cities and streets of their towns are not simply places to travel through, that the artifacts of their life are manufactured all around them. That all manufacturing is based on techniques and scientific technologies which they can understand if they but pay attention in school.

exposure to science



exposure to medicine


The demonstration exhibit, Johnson Atelier casting video, would be tied to traditional exhibits in the material sciences, special properties of materials used in ceramics, plastics, steel, etc.

exposure to health care



who they are physically, genetically, psychologically



Overcoming an alienation with technology, and a feeling of being able to participate in the man-made universe all around them.

how they learn, grow, and age



The focus of the transition museum is to intuit the interwoven fabric of social economics, and to place oneself and one’s education within a larger historical context in which one’s parents and  relatives and neighbors have all played a part.

Meet people at the museum



create, design


interactive design opportunities would be available to students in the living-museum model shop

collaborate, debate



The “careers court” game would encourage (through peer pressure) participation in a structured “recreation,” teaching the vocabulary of collaboration and “governed freedom”

investigate and solve problems


Traffic and queuing problems would be open for children helping to pick up freight-cars at factories and build trains. These would be tied to factory scheduling, and typical student task, scheduling & prioritization problems.


National Model Railroad Assoc.


NATIONAL membership:



NJ members



PA members



DEL members


Estim. Number of SERIOUS modelers

(train club members, actively purchase products)


National estimate



NJ estimate



PA estimate



DEL estimate


Estim. Number of ENTHUSIASTS (those who have layouts and visit layouts & shows)














Celebrity Model Railroad Enthusiasts

Ronald Reagan (actor, U.S. president)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (ex-U.S. Sec. of Education, ex-Governor of Tenn)

Steven Spielberg, (film director)

Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins (singers)

Raymond Burr, Gary Coleman (TV actors)

Tom Snyder (C-NBC newscaster)

David Lewis (Princeton philosopher)

CEO’s, scientists, doctors, lawyers, and engineers beyond mention

NMRA Convention







Convention Location














train show visitors







Any estimates available on revenues generated for host cities would be VERY IMPORTANT sound-byte for the mayor and the media (let them consider hosting a convention, and they will jump at the chance to become a national showplace)

Shopping Mall trade shows

Estimated total shows since 1970’s =

Number of shopping mall shows in NJ







Commercial train-layouts, tourist attractions

Northlandz, Flemington, NJ.  Opened 1972. Busiest day: 2,100 visitors.

Admission: $13.75 adult, $9.75 child; Avg. # out-of-state visitors per year:

"Roadside America"  Hamburg, PA.

Chattanooga Union Station. Currently hotel/restaurant. Obtained Fed. Grant for historical layout: 1865  & today.  $3 adults

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Opened train layout in (                  ).

Richmond VA children’s museum

Hamburg Germany has largest train layout in world

NJ hobby industry:

# hobby shops in NJ,

yearly sales

estimated national mail order / internet sales