Mar 282012
 
Authors: Erik Carman

Fans of science and history will have a new place to explore this year. The new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, which was completed in December of 2011, has announced a grand opening of Nov. 10.

The museum will house more than 21,000 square-feet of exhibition space, a digital dome theater, a local history archive, classrooms, a café and a rooftop observation deck, officials said in a museum news release.
Executive Director of the museum, Annette Geiselman, said the project would see a total cost of $26.7 million.
“We are currently holding a drive to raise the last $2.8 million,” Geiselman said.
She added that the museum was waiting to open in November so that construction of the remaining exhibits could be completed.
Geiselman said the new museum is working hard to differentiate itself from Fort Collins museums of the past.

“We are completely re-imagining ourselves,” Geiselman said. “On exhibition we will have things that are relevant to community, such as exhibits on music and sound, local agriculture and Paleolithic Native Americans who lived in this area 10,000 years ago.”

The new museum is the result of a merger between the Discovery Science Center and the Fort Collins museum, Gieselman said. The result is the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

Geiselman added that everything on exhibit would be an interactive experience.

“We literally have something for all ages,” Geiselman said.
Geiselman said that the new digital dome, a highly technological theater, will go above and beyond an ordinary planetarium.

“It can project films in an immersive way,” Gieselman said. “We’re very excited to have it.”

Trelora Bower, the museum’s curator of education, said the museum would have a variety of fun science exhibitions as well.

“One exhibit we have is called the Funky Forest,” Bower said.

Bower added that the exhibit will project a person’s image on a wall. Trees and branches will then grow off that person’s projected body, and birds will come land on those branches. The forest will continue to grow and change depending on how that person moves.

Bower said the historical exhibitions would be coupled with interactive immersion.

“We have artifacts from Paleo Native Americans that lived here 10,000 years ago,” Bower said, adding that next to such an exhibit one could expect to find modern renditions of the same artifacts that a visitor could actually pick up and examine.

“This is a huge increase over what we had traditionally at our old building,” Bower added.

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

РThe new museum is scheduled to open Nov. 10, 2012 РAlong with more than 21,000 square-feet of exhibition space, the museum will feature a digital dome theater, a local history archive, classrooms, a caf̩ and a rooftop observation deck. РEverything will be a hands on experience РAdult admission is slated to be below $10 a person

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