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It is Science, or is it History?

     Science centers have a reputation for being hands-on learning environments, and history museum are usually thought of as traditional museums with hands-off exhibits. In Fort Collins, Colorado, an exciting partnership is taking place to redefine and expand the boundaries of a museum.
    Discovery Science Center, a hands-on science center, was housed in an old school building and needed room to grow. The local history museum, the Fort Collins Museum, is located in a beautiful old Carnegie Library building, but with no space to expand and many artifacts behind the scenes. The city-owned history museum and the non-profit science museum combined forces and will be breaking ground for a brand new facility this year.
    The new museum will combine science and history throughout, with hands-on, interactive exhibits that make learning exciting and rewarding for every age.  The two topics cross over more often than you might think!
     Space science is a perfect example.  Science is definitely involved in space flight, rockets, and astronomy, but so is history--we have the history of human space flight, the involvement of people in the exploration of space, and the history of scientists who have paved the way for modern astronomy. We also see how humans have viewed the universe throughout time, and how they have explained the skies through stories and folklore.
     Stay tuned!  The new museum will open in late 2011 or 2012.  In the mean time, the two museums are combined in the small but cozy space of the Fort Collins Museum at 200 Mathews Street, just to get the idea going of a beneficial partnership.  To find out more, visit the website: www.fcmdsc.org.
     --Deborah Price, Virtual Space Community Coordinator, Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center

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