WORCESTER, MASS. – The EcoTarium announced today its latest permanent exhibit, City Science: The Science You Live, is now open and welcomes the public to investigate the science we encounter every day but rarely stop to consider.
The 2,500-square-foot exhibit has transformed the museum’s middle level. The exhibit incorporates live animals, interactive components, and natural history specimens, to give children and families the opportunity to experiment, engineer, and observe the science that is happening on our streets and in our neighborhoods. As visitors explore the exhibit, they will experience firsthand that the way we design and build our cities has powerful impacts on people, animals, civic life, and the larger environment.
City Science has been in development by the EcoTarium Exhibits staff for the past seven years, with input from more than 50 organizations and 200 individuals, including experts from UMASS Amherst, Clark University in Worcester, and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Over 1,000 public testers helped prototype exhibit components in preparation for the exhibit, which was used to fine-tune the 27 interactives that make up the exhibit experience.
“City Science is the EcoTarium’s most innovative exhibit to date,” said EcoTarium President Joseph P. Cox. “It engages visitors of all ages in discovering the multilayered science, nature, and engineering stories that are happening all around us every day, and it’s been developed with an approach that reflects our vision to be a collaborative partner and a national leader in science and nature learning.”
The exhibit includes seven theme areas, each focused around STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) skills and subjects delivered through 27 fun and engaging activities. Visitors are immersed into the urban environment through a variety of activities, including custom-designed computer challenges, live animal observations, hands-on engineering activities, games, and more.
Building for the future
The City Science installation is a major component of the EcoTarium’s Third Century Plan Campaign, a multi-year effort to upgrade the museum experience and facility as the museum approaches its 200th birthday in 2025. The Third Century Plan marks a new era in the EcoTarium’s nearly two-hundred-year history. In addition to City Science, the Plan includes a major outdoor exhibit, Wild Cat Station (currently in development), and two recently completed projects: the connection of the EcoTarium to the electrical grid as well as the upgrade and installation of new rails of the museum’s iconic Explorer Express Train. To learn more about the Third Century Plan Campaign and to help invest in EcoTarium’s future, visit ecotarium.org.
Developed in collaboration with a host of community researchers and subject-matter experts, City Science is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. City Hot Zones interactive is presented by Saint-Gobain. Engineering Lab is presented by National Grid.
EcoTarium is New England's leading museum of science and nature, an indoor-outdoor experience dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. Founded in 1825, it has been a leader in informal science and nature education for nearly 200 years, and today welcomes more than 150,000 visitors per year. Highlights of the 55-acre campus include a museum building with three floors of interactive exhibits, the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through forest and meadow, seasonal narrow-gauge railroad Explorer Express Train, and its expansive interactive outdoor exhibit, Nature Explore®.
The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for children 2-18, $10 for seniors 65+ and students with ID, and children under 2 are free. WOO Pass holders receive $2 off general admission for up to four people. Planetarium shows and Explorer Express Train require additional ticket. Parking is free. For more information, visit ecotarium.org.
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Photo Caption: The impressive cityscape invites guests to explore City Science: The Science You Live, the EcoTarium’s newest permanent exhibit, now open on the museum’s middle level.
Charlene L. Leith-Bushey
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