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St. Paul


Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota is situated along the bluffs of the Mississippi Riverfront across from RiverCentre. Surrounded by parks and walkways, it attracts 1.25 million people each year and is the premier sci- ence museum of its size in the world. With approximately 370,000 square feet, this five-level building is crafted along a 90-foot drop from Kellogg Boulevard to the river flats.

One of the building's highlights is the Atrium, a majestic space with a 70-foot vaulted ceiling in the center of the museum's exhibit areas. There are five major exhibit halls including a Human Body Gallery and large Paleontology Hall. In the Mississippi River Gallery, visitors can navigate the river via a computer simulation called the 'Virtual River PilotÓ and even climb aboard an authentic towboat.

Ten acres of outdoor Science Parks with new programs and physical links to the Mississippi River accentuate the landscape of the facility. The Big Back Yard is an outdoor attraction that combines nine holes of miniature golf, hands-on exhibits, and river science to creatively learn about principles of landscape evolution, river dynamics, biodiversity, and other environmental-related sciences. Public access from Kellogg Boulevard down to the river is available via greenways winding around the museum.

The 3M William L. McKnight Omnitheater, a state-of-the-art, large screen theater, is the first in the United States to use 'convertible dome' technology allowing projection on a flat or spherical screen. Visitor amenities include two rooftop restaurants, a coffee shop, a 700-car attached parking ramp, facility rentals for corporate and group use and a dedicated entry and lunch space for large school and youth groups.

More than an attraction and education center, this facility serves as a link between the river and the city. A landscaped plaza on Kellogg Boulevard at the museum's front door connects the green space of River Park to parklands on the river flats. Visitors have direct access to River Park, without paying museum admission. The Science Museum also features the National Park Service's Mississippi River Visitor Center which provides infor- mational exhibits about the Mississippi River, its parks, trails, historic sites, and scenic drives along the river. Park Rangers are available to assist visitors in arranging day trips or help them find a spot to launch a boat or canoe into the river. The Science Museum is noted for its outstanding programming as well as traveling exhibits. In the summer of 2008, it will feature Star Wars: Where Science Meets Technology.

The Science Museum of Minnesota
The Science Museum of Minnesota



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Source: St. Paul CVA; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20080915
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