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Classroom Renovation Project

Have you checked out the activities in the Discovery Room? The features of the Discovery Room include hands-on activities, displays of Connecticut rocks and minerals, and a large-screen interactive program covering the Connecticut River Valley.

Exhibits have been designed for both adults and children and 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,” features 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” showcases 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.

Nutmeg Designs of Windsor, CT created the design specifications which were funded by the Friends of Dinosaur Park and Arboretum, Inc. Since the design had been funded, 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.

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. This project has greatly improved the visitor experience but we caution parents – your kids won’t ever want to leave!

A Book about the Tracks, the Park and the History

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.

Reviewer David K. Leff, former Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection deputy commissioner, remarked, "An excellent guide, the book will enrich even a casual visit to the Park. ...McDonald vibrantly chronicles the creation of the Connecticut Valley, the lives of dinosaurs, the importance of fossils, and the adventure of finding them."

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.


Temporary Displays

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.