New Interactive Museum Opens to the Public

Story by Kylee Mecham

SALT LAKE CITY – The new Rio Tinto Center, at the Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU), opened its doors to the public on Nov. 18, after six years of construction.  It features 10 new galleries of exhibitions, which are oriented to all ages.
According to Randy Irmis, curator of paleontology for the museum, “One of our goals was for families to be able to experience the museum together and so in each area you’ll find something to look at, something to listen to, something to smell, and something to do.”
The new building, which is located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range, features Utah’s history, artifacts and objects from every county in the state.  With the use of new interactive programs, each of the new galleries takes advantage of the surrounding environment.
“This is a place where we can inspire that curiosity early on and get kids trying their hand at observation, at study (and) at really trying to figure out things on their own,” said Becky Menlove, exhibit director for the museum.
“I think we put together a great museum in a great location,” said Patti Carpenter, director of public relations for the museum.
NHMU is a research institution that focuses on the natural and cultural history of the region.  For more information on the new Rio Tinto Center and its galleries visit the museum’s website at