Science that Spans All Dimensions!

December 4, 2017
Technology

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, allows you to experience and learn more about astronauts, dinosaurs and one-of-a-kind minerals! Headlining the 2018-2019 season are two traveling exhibitions – Journey to Space (Oct. 21, 2017-May 6, 2018), which includes a full-size simulated International Space Station, and Ultimate Dinosaurs (June 23, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019), which brings to life a new menagerie of dinosaurs discovered in the Southern Hemisphere. “There’s a universal fascination with space and dinosaurs, so our upcoming exhibitions should be real crowd pleasers,” said Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver, Eugene McDermott CEO of the Perot Museum. “For anyone who has dreamed of being an astronaut, Journey to Space will offer a chance to climb aboard a virtual orbiting space station to experience what it’s like to sleep, exercise, eat and even use a toilet in near zero gravity! And the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition will reveal a group of new dinosaurs – from tiny to towering – that will help us understand why this new ‘breed of beast’ is different than the dinosaurs we’re used to seeing in the movies,” added Dr. Silver.

Presented in English and Spanish, Journey to Space explores the astonishing yet forbidding environment of space. From the vacuum of space and radiation to meteoroids and temperature extremes, guests of all ages will learn about the perils that astronauts face during their missions and the adaptations that engineers have developed to help them survive while in space. With 10,000 square feet of interactives, whole-body experiences and authentic artifacts, visitors can launch a rocket, test gravity in a drop tower, control a robotic arm, and experience the sights and sounds (and even smells!) on board an orbiting space station. Even tykes and tots will have a blast at the space station activity area and construction center, complete with dollhouses and space station figurines. Nearby, guests can marvel at Neil Armstrong’s space helmet and gloves from his historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon, along with numerous authentic space travel and exploration relics. The ultimate space experience continues with Journey to Space 3D (Oct. 19, 2017-May 6, 2018) in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National GeographicExperience. Narrated by actor Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), the 20-minute film explains how space exploration didn’t die with the end of the Space Shuttle program. Rather, some of the most exciting missions of our time are ahead – from capturing asteroids to landing astronauts on Mars. Journey to Space was designed and developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in partnership with the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center, and partner museums.

Based on groundbreaking research from scientists around the world, Ultimate Dinosaurs reveals a new breed of dinosaurs that evolved in isolation in South America, Africa and Madagascar – dinosaurs that are unfamiliar to most North Americans. Presented locally by Highland Capital Management, Ultimate Dinosaurs tells the story of the break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea into today’s continents, and the ways that continental drift affected the evolution of dinosaurs. Through hands-on activities and augmented reality technology, guests will discover that an amazing diversity of species evolved as a result of this phenomenon. Presented in English and French (with a Spanish audio guide available), Ultimate Dinosaurs is presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota and requires a surcharge for members and non-members. 

In addition to the traveling exhibits, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science also has 11 permanent exhibit halls, each with their own unique and interesting experiences:

Throughout these halls, you will race famous athletes or a T-Rex; discover the power and potential of living things; realize that being human is different for everyone; experience how math and science is used to solve everyday problems; feel what it's like to walk through an earthquake or touch a tornado; take a virtual expedition deep underground to explore a drilling rig from the inside out; discover astounding varieties of colors, shapes and hardnesses of Earth’s original rock stars; embark on a journey through our solar system and beyond; be awe-inspired by the infamous predator Tyrannosaurus rex or the plant-eating Alamosaurus; and create your own virtual species of bird. The Moody Children's Museum even gives children 5 and under a space of their own to explore alongside a parent or caregiver.

Thank you to our friends at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for providing this informative blog describing these ongoing and upcoming events. As a valuable resource for science educators, please check out the Perot Museum of Nature and Science Teacher's Guide for Pre-K to 12th grade students. In it, you will find exhibits, programs and films along with the dates they are being offered. The programs include field trip programs, outreach programs, and lab-based programs including: Force, Motion and Energy Labs; Engineering and Robotics Labs; Chemistry Labs; Nature Labs; Anatomy and Physiology Labs; a Paleontology Lab; a Weather Lab; and Geology and Landform Labs. For large groups, they even have Auditorium Programs including Physics Circus, Electric Theater, Fire and Ice, and the popular Superhero Science. 

While you're checking out the Teacher's Guide, be sure to check out page 20 where it tells about the Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute and how you can apply. Applications for the 2018-2019 Institute open in January of 2018. Institute teachers gain the following: science content knowledge needed to effectively teach concepts in all four TEKS reporting categories; ideas and materials for interactive STEM classroom activities; collaboration and access to a network of skilled STEM educators; and an opportunity to build leadership skills by presenting at Institute workshops and mentoring other teachers. According to the teacher’s guide, “Many factors contribute to acceptance into the Institute. Teachers accepted into the Institute will be placed in one of four academies based on a variety of criteria: Pre-service, Novice, Advanced, and Mentor.”

Speaking from personal experience, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is an amazing experience that truly is enjoyed by all ages. We were there for our grandson’s birthday party, and our group spanned 70 years ranging from 4 years to 74 years old. Everyone had a great time seeing and learning about all of the exhibits, and my husband even joined the grandkids competing against famous athletes as they “tried” to outrun them! The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is definitely a must-see adventure!

Stephanie Miller

With over 25 years experience, Stephanie serves as a senior copywriter, social media director, and senior editor for Science Scene. Stephanie is always on the lookout for new educational and STEM-related opportunities and technology.