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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, October 01, 2012

Utah To Get $27 Million 'Museum of Natural Curiosity'

Utah has some outstanding museums that draw patrons from around the region, including the Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah and the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.

Now, ground has been broken on a large and innovative museum that will offer hands-on learning activities for children. Called the "Museum of Natural Curiosity," the new facility aims to serve families with children ages 3-12.

The museum will feature five main exhibits:
  • Rainforest
  • Waterworks
  • Kidopolis
  • Children’s Discovery Garden
  • Traveling Exhibits
The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the new museum. Below are excerpts.

"First and foremost the museum will be fun," (Thanksgiving Point President Mike) Washburn said. "But all of this fun will also be educational and it will all be tied back to common core curriculum."

For example, the Waterworks exhibit area will focus on helping guests learn about energy, weather and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through hands-on experiences involving Utah rocks, a giant mechanical water mover, a water geyser, sand tables and an ice tower while Rainforest’s exhibits gets guests moving and swinging through treetops.

"Children’s museum is a bit of a misnomer. They’re really family museums. These are places where families come together and form bonds and experiences that will last a lifetime," he said.

"Many people believe that curiosity and intelligence are two different things," (sixth-grade teacher Karre) Nevarez said after receiving her award. "I take a different viewpoint. To me creativity is the highest form of intelligence."

But $3.6 million in additional funding is still needed to complete the 45,000-square-foot museum. As of Oct. 1, $23.4 million has been raised through private donations as well as public contributions from the state and county, museum officials said.

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