Grant to Time Museum Brings STEM Advances to Watchmaking in Virtual Reality
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Grant to Time Museum Brings STEM Advances to Watchmaking in Virtual Reality

- By NAWCC Press Release 1/19/18

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Dart Foundation presenters Tammy Kline and Ofelia Munoz-Castro with Museum Director Noel Poirier and NAWCC Executive Director Tom Wilcox.

COLUMBIA, PA: The NAWCC, Inc. Watch & Clock Museum announces that it has received a grant funded by the Dart Foundation and a generous in-kind donation from Grand Seiko to unite Grand Seiko-designed software with zSpace STEM hardware technology in an NAWCC-sponsored program to introduce students and future watchmakers to the next generation of watchmaking design technology.

The donation and grant will allow the Museum to display and use Grand Seiko advanced 3D virtual reality watch engineering software with the introduction of user-friendly, progressive, zSpace hardware specially designed for K-12 STEM education. Grand Seiko and zSpace recently partnered and launched this next-generation watchmaking technology in the Seiko Museum in Tokyo and showcased it across the United States last fall during a promotional Grand Seiko tour. For more information and to view this technology watch the following video.

The Museum plans to initially present this unit for visitor use and engagement in the Museum, with plans to obtain more units for local student and school presentations and other NAWCC educational STEM programs. The unit will consist of a computer simulator, 3D glasses, and a stylus which will assist and guide the user to view and virtually experience and manipulate the components of the Grand Seiko movements, disassemble and reassemble mechanisms of the watch, and adjust the speed of the power transmission.

There currently is a great demand by the major watchmakers and watch owners for professional watchmaking and repair services. Many of the major watch brand companies are funding horology schools in the United States and providing full scholarships to support students who want to learn this trade.

Along with the current, well-attended, and regularly scheduled youth education programs offered by the NAWCC Museum, it is expected that this STEM technology software and hardware experience will increase interest in horology (the study of timepieces and timekeeping) and double the amount of children currently served by the Watch & Clock Museum. NAWCC Museum Director Noel Poirier believes that “The introduction of this new horological STEM technology to our Museum will enable the NAWCC to expand our educational offerings to visitors and members, while relating to a new generation that has grown up utilizing advanced technology in their learning. It is the first of many steps that we plan to take in implementing the Museum’s commitment of providing modern and innovative educational programs and experiences.”

The Museum is hoping that young learners who experience this technology will be engaged and excited to participate in additional educational opportunities through classes, publications, workshops, and events to keep fostering their interest in horology. The next step planned for these future watchmakers is connecting them with mentors and practicing experts in the field so that they can hone their skills, knowledge, and proficiency and become qualified applicants sought for acceptance and scholarships at watchmaking schools. The ultimate goal is that these young learners will eventually launch their own promising and financially rewarding careers.

NAWCC Executive Director and CEO Tom Wilcox exclaims: “We are very excited about presenting this new technology to the high-tech generation and sparking their interest in potential career opportunities in watchmaking and timepiece design. Working with clocks and watches will no longer be associated in their minds as only engaging with historic trade practices, but will now have clear and stimulating connections for them with utilizing cutting-edge technology.”

The National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, Inc. (NAWCC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable, educational organization with a worldwide membership of more than 12,000. The NAWCC is the world's largest museum, research library, educational institution, and international community of horological professionals and enthusiasts dedicated to clocks, watches, time, and timekeeping. We are committed to being the world leader, educator, and advocate for horology and everyone interested in timepieces and horological issues. We share the story of TIME.

The NAWCC is currently celebrating the Watch & Clock Museum’s 40th year of operation and is looking forward to celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Association during the week of July 16, 2018 at its Columbia, PA location.

April through November the National Watch & Clock Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. December through March hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From Memorial Day through Labor Day the Museum is also open on Mondays. Discounts are available to seniors, students, AAA members, and groups of 10 or more. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to call ahead. For more program information, directions, or general Museum information, call 717.684.8261 or visit our website at

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