Natural History Museum of Utah Opened Offering Educational Opportunities

Story by Makaylee Pettit

The new Natural History Museum of Utah opened last Friday in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range. It has 10 new galleries, which include three learning labs, providing further education.

Design architect for the building, Todd Schliemann, spent several years studying the geography of Utah prior to construction. He wanted to, “symbolize the beauty and magnitude of the state’s unique landscapes.”

The building followed Schliemann’s vision. It sits on the shores of the ancient Lake Bonneville, and has views of the Rocky Mountains and the Salt Lake Valley.

Director of public relations for the NHMU, Patti Carpenter, said, “ I think we put together a great museum in a great location.

There are 10 different galleries: Utah Sky and View Terrace, Native Voices, Land, Life, First Peoples, Lake, Past Worlds, Utah Futures, Rio Tinto Center and Our Backyard. Each one portrays a unique theme but also emphasizes interpretive links to other areas of science.
Three of the galleries are learning labs, which are going to be used for school and public programming. The labs, Embedded in the Life, Past Worlds and First Peoples galleries, are in prime locations and utilize surroundings to provide further learning opportunities.


Museum exhibit director Becky Menlove said, “The opportunities for kids to explore science here are endless. What we’ve tried to do throughout the museum is to create very interdisciplinary exhibits so that you’re not learning about rocks at a particular time, but also about plants, about paleontology, about hydrology and all the forces that go together because that’s really how we learn when we’re out in nature ourselves.”

The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Wednesdays it stays open until 9:00 p.m. The prices are $6.00 for children, $7.00 for youth, $9.00 for adults, $7,00 for seniors and children two and under are free.