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Media Room - Science Museum of Minnesota Fact Sheet

Science Museum of Minnesota Fact Sheet

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WHAT

The Science Museum of Minnesota, the Upper Midwest's most popular museum attraction

WHERE

On the Mississippi Riverfront in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota
120 West Kellogg Boulevard
Saint Paul, MN 55102

BACKGROUND

Founded in 1907 as the Saint Paul Institute of Science and Letters, the Science Museum of Minnesota welcomes more than one million visitors each year to see its world-class collection of dinosaurs and fossils, the nation's only convertible IMAX dome Omnitheater, its trademark hands- and bodies-on science exhibits, and a blockbuster slate of traveling exhibitions.

The Science Museum has occupied several locations in its 100+-year-history, and opened its current, state-of-the-art museum facility in 1999. The Science Museum is the most-visited museum in the five-state region and consistently ranks first in Twin Cities rankings for favorite museums and favorite family outings.

Long History of Science Education Leadership
In addition to welcoming learners of all ages to its St. Paul location, the Science Museum of Minnesota has numerous research and business operations that have elevated the St. Paul-based non-profit organization to a role of international leadership among science museums.

In addition to being the nation's leading museum producer of large format IMAX films, the Science Museum of Minnesota is also one of an elite group of organizations that creates and distributes museum exhibits to an international market and custom-builds exhibits for museums across the country.

Science Museum scientists and researchers span the globe, frequently publishing their groundbreaking research in paleontology and environmental sciences in leading scientific journals. The Science Museum's collection includes some 1.75 million artifacts.

The Science Museum has one of the most extensive and diverse arrays of museum education programming in the country, including: programs serving K-12 school audiences (both on site and via school outreach programs that bring museum educators into schools in greater Minnesota). The Science Museum is also the state's leading provider of professional development in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

The Science Museum's primary visitor attractions include:

  • The United States' only convertible dome IMAX theater—the William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater. This theater has two screens: a 90-foot diameter domed screen that can rotate back behind the audience seating area to reveal a 90'x 70' flat screen;
  • The Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery, including the largest of only four Triceratops in the world;
  • The Mississippi River Gallery, including an authentic, climb-aboard Mississippi River towboat perched on a 75-foot-high gallery balcony overlooking the river;
  • The 6,000-square-foot Human Body Gallery, featuring a Cell Lab in which visitors can view DNA and see their own cells under a microscope;
  • The Collections Gallery, highlighting a "greatest hits" selection of the museum's collection of 1.75 million artifacts;
  • The popular Experiment Gallery including hands-on exhibits on electricity, engineering, the physical and natural sciences, and mathematics (favorites include the "make a tornado" activity and the "bicycle-powered light bulbs" activity);
  • U.S. Bank Great Hall, with 10,000 square feet of space for traveling exhibits (scheduled seasonally);
  • The Seismofon, a massive musical sculpture that chimes when there is seismic activity beneath Earth's surface;
  • Amenities include restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating and several special event spaces; and
  • The Big Back Yard, a 1.2 acre outdoor exhibit gallery featuring nine holes of science-themed miniature golf, a 17,000 square-foot prairie maze, and large scale interactive exhibits that explore landscape evolution, river dynamics and biodiversity. (Open seasonally.)

VISITOR INFORMATION

Hours vary seasonally. Call (651) 221-9444 or visit www.smm.org for current hours of operation.

For ticket prices and reservations, directions, and additional information, call (651) 221-9444 or visit www.smm.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Kim Ramsden, PR Director, (651) 221-9423
Sarah Imholte, PR Coordinator, (651) 221-9412
Peg Roessler, Roessler Public Relations, (612) 200-8600