Monday, July 29, 2013

The mystique of the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center

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The mystique of the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center

By Gil Rivas
The Daily Magi
September 24, 2049

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a partnership of two educational institutions that merged in 2008 to create a combined science and cultural resource for Fort Collins and northern Colorado. 

The Fort Collins Museum began as the Pioneer Museum in 1941 with the help of the Indian Relic Hobby Club, the Pioneer Association, and the Daughters of Colorado Pioneers. Operated by the City of Fort Collins, the Museum's first curator was Clyde Brown, a member of the Indian Relic Hobby Club and a Fort Collins native. In 1976, the Pioneer Museum relocated into the old Carnegie Library building and became the Fort Collins Museum. The Museum has evolved into a regional center focusing on area history and culture.

The Fort Collins Museum's collection totals over 30,000 artifacts, including a significant collection of Folsom materials from the Lindenmeier Archaeological Site north of Fort Collins, agricultural implements, household necessities, paintings, and clothing, reflecting the diversity and values of the peoples of the Cache La Poudre River Valley. Multiple galleries feature temporary and permanent exhibitions, and four historic structures – three cabins and a schoolhouse – reside in the outdoor Heritage Courtyard, including "Auntie" Stone's cabin, the oldest cabin in the Fort Collins area. The Museum also offers a variety of on-going programs and educational opportunities and is home to the Local History Archive.

Discovery Science Center was founded in 1989 as a non-profit 501©(3) organization with a mission to provide enjoyable, hands-on explorations in science and technology for the region. Discovery Science Center houses more than 120 interactive exhibits designed to engage learners of all ages, offers an array of planetarium shows, overnight camp-ins, and classes, and makes these resources highly accessible by providing scholarships and free family memberships to qualified participants.

Discovery Science Center fosters science literacy among the community’s school aged children by providing challenging, enriching opportunities in hands-on science education, helping ensure that they develop a passion for lifelong learning. Since 1993, Discovery Science Center has also hosted the Poudre School District’s annual Science Fair.

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