Classroom Renovation Project Underway
The Exhibit Center will reopen in early April after completion of new displays in the Discovery Room. It has been closed since late February.
The State Bond Commission voted to fund the renovation and selected Experience Design of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to complete the project. The company has 30 years' experience working exclusively with museums throughout the United States and Canada. Among their clients are the Bay of Fundy Geological Museum in Canada; Makoshika Geological Museum in Montana; Long Island Aquarium in New York, The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC and the Minnesota Zoo. They have designed and built more than 200 science museum projects, including numerous discovery areas for children.
Nutmeg Designs of Windsor, CT created the design specifications which were funded by the Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc. The features of the Discovery Room will include hands-on activities, state-of-the-art displays of Connecticut rocks and minerals, and even a pinball machine featuring the Connecticut Valley.
Exhibits have been designed for both adults and children and will allow hundreds of specimens that have never been on display to be viewed by the public. One of the new exhibits, “Connecticut’s Geologic Treasures,” will feature an interactive geologic map of the state, pull and learn drawers containing dozens of specimens from Connecticut and an “Investigation Station” where visitors can examine mica, crystal structures and more.
The “Life Through Time Exhibit” will showcase hundreds of fossil specimens from different time periods and different parts of the world. Other exhibits include a giant Mesozoic Magnetic Wall, a bird sounds station and a rock core display.
The renovation of the Discovery Room is the result of many years of planning that included visits to other museums and surveys of park visitors. We have no doubt that this project will greatly improve the visitor experience but caution parents – your kids won’t ever want to leave!
What's new and what's old come together in a full color, 105-page book, "Window into the Jurassic World." Authored by Nicholas McDonald, the book features the unique aspects of the park and the history of the discovery of the tracks. Stunning photographs of the exhibits and grounds were taken by Richard Bergen.
The Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc. published the book which is available from the Friends' Bookshop. Visit the bookshop or order your copy today.
Among the displays in the classroom is one covering the current theories that explain the mass extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago when all the dinosaurs, except for birds, disappeared.
Our theropod skull display includes new dinosaur fossil casts. A Deinonychus claw was added to the case, along with a Velociraptor skull and claw and an Archaeopteryx skull. Information about each of the theropods has been included on an informative backdrop in the case. Funding for this display was provided by the FDPA.
Hermes Takes Up Residency at the Park
Hermes, a ball python, can be observed in the Discovery Room. He participates in park programs throughout the year. Hermes, who is 3 years old, is a non-venomous snake native to Africa. When full-grown, he will be approximately 3 - 4 feet in length.