The Museum is the result of a 2006 merger, unlike any in the nation, of three cultural institutions—the Dallas Museum of Natural History (est. 1936), The Science Place (est. 1946) and the Dallas Children’s Museum (est. 1995). The merger made the need for additional space critical. In November 2009, the Museum of Nature & Science — whose mission is to “inspire minds through nature and science” — broke ground on an $185-million-dollar, world-class, state-of-the-art museum at Victory Park in Downtown Dallas, which supplements the Museum’s existing programming and operations at its Fair Park location.
The Pickens Foundation donated $10 million to the museum’s fundraising campaign. Towering dinosaurs, rare fossils and virtual paleo-habitats are just a few of the features that make the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall a must-go destination for dinosaur lovers, fossil collectors or just about anyone who has ever wondered what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. It occupies 11,566 square feet on the museum’s top floor.
Pickens became involved because he had high hopes for the museum.
“I’m doing this for the kids,” he says, explaining that he hopes that the museum inspires a new generation to “imagine solutions” to what he calls a crowded frontier of critical problems.
“I never was a Nobel candidate, but they all say they went to museums that tweaked their imaginations, and from there, they moved on to greater things. I think that goes for most all kids. A museum is a starting point for them, or it’s a confirmation of something they’ve thought about a little bit and now it’s elevating them to something. Young people are the future of the country. Every time you can give them a better chance to get to where they need to be, why not?”
The Perot Museum exposes children to a world of ideas and concepts in science, math and technology, all within one spectacular 180,000–square-foot location. By offering hands-on ways to learn about scientific evidence, mathematical concepts and natural history, the Museum can profoundly affect what and how kids experience science and nature. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers can find inspiration and education through interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and vivid contextual displays.
The museum’s 11 permanent exhibit halls feature video; 3-D computer animation; thrilling, lifelike simulation; hands-on activities; interactive kiosks and dioramas; quizzes; tabletop landscapes; animated music videos; and high-resolution, computer-generated flyovers. The facility allows the museum to host world-class traveling exhibitions, and greatly expand its educational programs for school children and the general public.
“The Museum of Nature & Science is thrilled to have Boone Pickens as a partner in our effort to focus on the importance of science education to both kids and adults,” said Forrest Hoglund, chairman of the Museum’s Capital Campaign Committee. “His generosity is incredible; his passion for the sciences is invaluable.”
For more information on the MNS, please visit www.natureandscience.org or call 972.201.0555.