Stepping Stones Children's Museum

This project was done for Stepping Stones Children’s museum in Norwalk, Ct. We were a subcontractor working for ShowMotion on this project. ShowMotion does many stage effects for Broadway among many other effects that they have done world wide. First, we co-designed the pipes and sized the tanks and pumps with ShowMotion and then JR’s Plumbing & Heating installed all of this equipment that fed five separate effects. The effects were designed and installed by other subcontractors. We had to overcome a few obstacles in designing and piping the effects. Together, we simplified a complex original design, thus reducing costs and increasing reliability. We designed the system so that the pool pumps stay on for long periods of time which greatly lengthens the life of the pumps. We designed bypasses to reduce pressure built up by the pumps when the effects turned off and on or were reduced in flow.

Five water effects made up the display. An umbrella had rain pouring down on top of it. This rain drained into a spout into a barrel and out onto a streambed. One effect created fog and another created a vortex pool inside a bowl and then drained into another bowl. A large pipe made water overflow into a rectangle basin that overflowed into another basin and then into a big bowl that drained back into the tanks. The bowl had a fountain in the center of it. A few hand-operated pumps ejected water into the air. The children could operate the hand pumps themselves.

All of the big tanks and pumps and pipes were installed into a mechanical room under the floor adjacent to the effect. The mechanical room had a glass manhole cover on top and was lit up with lights. The moms and their children can walk over the manhole cover and see all of the pipes, tanks and pumps in the mechanical room. This way the children will learn how the effects work. This is a huge honor for us as this is the first time that our work is on display in a museum!! Click on the links above to see some pictures.