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Media Advisory.

Media Advisory

Public to explore the universe at the U of M's Bell Museum this summer

Contacts: Martin Moen, Bell Museum, mmoen@umn.edu, (612) 624-0793
Jeff Falk, University News Service, jfalk@umn.edu, (612) 626-1720

June 21, 2011

For a limited time, when you visit the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History this summer, you will be able to travel into space among the planets and stars of the Minnesota Planetarium Society's ExploraDome. 

An inflatable and fully immersive, interactive astronomy and Earth science learning environment, the ExploraDome allows visitors to discover the wonders of the current night sky and journey through a 3-D exploration of the solar system, galaxy and universe. Inside the dome, each audience can decide what to see and where to fly.

The ExploraDome will be at the Bell Museum, 10 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis, for public shows at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. on June 21 and 28; July 12, 19 and 26; and Aug. 2, 10, 17 and 23. No reservation is necessary, and the ExploraDome shows are included with regular Bell Museum admission. Visit bellmuseum.org for more information.

“This is not the points-of-light-on-a-dome experience many of us envision,” said ExploraDome coordinator Sally Brummel. “We use a video game-style controller to pilot our audience through an interactive, digital world.”

Through a process of guided inquiry, the audience travels virtually from inside the subatomic realm to the edge of the known universe. The program content is adaptable to audiences ranging in age from 5 to senior citizens. The ExploraDome travels the state and has reached more than 100,000 Minnesotans since it was introduced in 2007.

“We’re very pleased to be able to partner with the Minnesota Planetarium Society to make this program more widely available,” said Shoghig Berberian, K-12 education coordinator at the Bell Museum.

The Bell Museum of Natural History is Minnesota's official natural history museum, where more than four million specimens support ongoing research and teaching at the University of Minnesota. The museum strives to discover, document and understand nature and promote informed stewardship of our world. It is part of the university's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and welcomes nearly 85,000 visitors a year.

The Minnesota Planetarium Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building a new planetarium and space discovery center. Its goal is to inspire, inform and educate about our planet and our universe, and the many benefits of scientific thinking, technological advancement and exploration. Visit mplanetarium.org for more information about the Minnesota Planetarium Society.

Tags: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Bell Museum of Natural History

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