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Partner Highlight: Mining, Metallurgy, and Moving with the Duluth Children's Museum

Christina Akers

In April, the Duluth Children’s Museum joined forces with the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) to represent the NISE Network at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration conference held in Duluth, MN. The conference, hosted by the University of Minnesota Duluth College of Continuing Education, is a unique opportunity to connect with individuals from the mining field. Nanofiltration was a highlight at this year’s meeting, so those who stopped by the trade show were intrigued to learn about the NISE Net’s resources and see educational activities first-hand. Most popular were the Exploring Size – Ball Sorter activity from this year’s NanoDays kit, which demonstrates filtration, and the Exploring Products – Nano Sand activity from last year’s kit, which engaged those interested in the possible real-world applications of this material for mining.

In the midst of mining and metallurgy, friends at Duluth were also planning for a move! On May 29, 2012, the Duluth Children’s Museum opened doors on a new larger facility in West Duluth’s Clyde Park complex. This move nearly doubled the museum’s floor space and vastly expanded their opportunities to engage a wider range of children.

The new space, the former Athletic Republic building, puts the Duluth Children’s Museum in the heart of the Duluth Heritage Sports Center. This gives them a wonderful opportunity to enhance collaborations with partners such as The Boys and Girls Club of Duluth, who are also located in this facility and who have been working with the Museum for events from NanoDays to their highly successful Bubble Festival. However, as Executive Director Michael Garcia says, "This move is just Phase One." Two years ago, the Museum bought the Duluth Brewing & Malting building located straight across from the new Heritage Sports Center space. The Museum’s goal is to move into this permanent 28,000 sq. ft. home in about a year-and-a-half. Plans are fueled by a large capital campaign that begun in 2010. "This transitional space gives us increased exhibit and program space that we need to fulfill our mission of sparking children’s curiosity." 

Nano mini-exhibition at The Depot before the move.

The move not only better serves Duluth Children’s Museum’s membership of over 9,000 guests, but also offers the NISE Net’s Nano mini-exhibition an incredible home in their fabulous new space! The Duluth Children’s Museum has already done incredible work incorporating Nano, NanoDays activities, and other NISE Net programming into their regular work. To the mini-exhibition they have added a "dress-up like a nanoscientist" area, a wentzcope, and additional magnetic ball-and-stick building pieces to further exploration of structures at different scales.

Thank you to all our friends at the Duluth Children’s Museum for their incredible work in the community and their constant support of the NISE Network! All the best in your new home!!!