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The Children’s Museum to Create New Exhibit on Dinosaurs and Connecticut

August 11 , 2016

by Julie Barnofski

The Children's Museum was recently awarded a $35,000 grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) to support the development of an original exhibit on Jurassic era dinosaurs and Connecticut's role as a dinosaur habitat.

The new, upcoming exhibit will provide children and families with opportunities to discover how scientists have determined what we now know about dinosaurs that existed in Connecticut and beyond. Unlike many other dinosaur exhibits, The Children's Museum's exhibit will uniquely uncover the little known roles Connecticut and New England played during this era in addition to unfolding contemporary scientific research in ways that young children will find approachable, engaging, and hands-on. The Museum will feature tactile, family-friendly educational stations and activities alongside actual fossils, samples, and natural resources that have been preserved locally.

"Since dinosaurs are always a popular topic among children, we started to re-think them within the context of what occurred in our own backyards. Through this exhibit, we'll provide something really unique for families, schools, and Connecticut as a whole," stated Dr. Michael Werle, executive director of The Children's Museum. "CHEFA's generous support is helping this important project become a reality."

"The Children's Museum was one of only 23 recipients of CHEFA's Nonprofit Grant Program this year," remarked Jeanette Weldon, CHEFA's executive director. "We are pleased to support this project, helping to provide Connecticut children and their families with hands-on educational experiences about our state's fascinating history."

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, the Center of Integrative Geosciences at the University of Connecticut, and Dinosaur State Park will join The Children's Museum as project partners. Each has contributed to project planning and will lend educational resources that will be incorporated into the exhibit. Together forming a unique scientific and educational network throughout Connecticut, the exhibit will also encourage visitors to also venture to the other three sites for additional learning experiences.

The Children's Museum contracted the internationally renowned exhibit designer, Paul Orselli to lead the exhibit's design and fabrication. Design and development are underway. The exhibit is slated to open in February 2017.

CHEFA provides financing options for colleges, universities, independent schools, hospitals, childcare facilities, cultural institutions and other not for profit entities through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds. CHEFA derives its revenues from the annual loan servicing fee it charges its clients, and operates without any State or taxpayer funds. For more information, visit www.chefa.com.

The Children's Museum and Roaring Brook Nature Center are the region's premiere destinations for exploration and education. Home to over 100 live animals, the Museum features hands-on exhibits, out-of-this-world digital planetarium shows, and programs for young children and families.

The Children's Museum and Preschool are located at 950 Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford and Roaring Brook Nature Center is located at 70 Gracey Road in Canton. More information is available at www.TheChildrensMuseumCT.org.

For more information on sponsoring an educational exhibit at The Children's Museum, please contact Julie Barnofski Portfolio at jportfolio@thechildrensmuseumct.org or (860) 231-2830 x510.
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