If you’ve been in downtown Raleigh lately, you’ve surely seen the construction of the Nature Research Center. the new wing of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. (Some views Before, During, and After). I had the privilege of participating in a behind-the-scenes-tour (#instawalk) last week with David Kroll (the museum’s Director of Science Communications), and I have to say: If you’re raising kids in Raleigh you will spend a lot of time at this place in coming years. The Nature Research Center is a top-modern, state-of-the-art “science outreach facility”. (That’s what I would call it.) According to their website, “the Nature Research Center […] will bring research scientists and their work into the public eye, help demystify what can be an intimidating field of study, better prepare science educators and students, and inspire a new generation of young scientists.” As an engineer and science-aficionado, I was impressed by the quality and relevance of their displays. And as a father of a inquisitive two-year-old, I can see that they are doing a good job reaching the whole gamut of their public audience. We all know how important good science education is, and this center will be an excellent resource. Did I say that I’m excited? Ok, enough exuberance, here is what is happening this Saturday:
The Grand Opening is a 24-hour event from Friday, 4/20 at 5pm until Saturday 4/21 at 5pm. Besides event for adults (like the Science of Beer Making and a midnight Science Cafe), there will be plenty of activities for younger visitors. From sidewalk chalk drawing to “Urban Bowling” and an Improv everywhere event on Friday at 6pm, there is a lot going on. Paperhand Puppet Intervention and Scrap Exchange will be there as well.
“Can I go inside the globe?“, you ask? Ohhh, yeah… Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Go have a look!
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Just a quick update: We went and it was awesome as expected. On Friday night, me and the boy participated in the Improv Everywhere flash mob event which was a lot of fun. We didn’t wait in line to get in – I heard that at midnight, the line was still several blocks long!
On Saturday we toured the museum. My son was impressed by the Cree LED carpet and the Daily Planet theatre, and in the vet OR, they were operating on a snake!
We will be back to this place often, and not only with kids. Science Cafe and other evening event will be interesting for a grown-up outing as well.