Posts Tagged 'Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center'

Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

If you watched the 2011 Golden Globes last Sunday, you may have spotted Dr. Temple Grandin in the audience. The HBO movie about her life, Temple Grandin, was up for more awards (and Claire Danes won for her portrayal of Dr. Grandin) after walking away with seven Emmy’s last year.

In a year in which so many people were exposed to Dr. Grandin’s work as an animal scientist, author and autism activist, we consider ourselves very lucky to have such a fantastic (and famous!) resource and supporter of the new museum right here in Fort Collins.

Here’s Dr. Grandin’s inspiring 2010 Ted Talk on why the worlds needs all sorts of thinkers.



New museum update: Take the tour

by Jason Wolvington, Associate Director

Have you seen the exhibit in the Museum’s lobby about our new museum project? If not, stop by and check out preliminary sketches of the new building, renderings of some of the new exhibit spaces, and the beginnings of our layout on the new site! Every day sees changes to the project, so we’ll be continually updating the exhibit to reflect current designs and sketches.

And don’t forget:  we’re on track to break ground on our new building this summer! Stay updated on our progress with this blog and on our website at

Even more to explore! The Museum’s on Facebook

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator

The Museum got started on Facebook about a month ago, and we’re really enjoying having another new way to share what’s going on — both with our local community, and with people from all over. Museums can project an intimidating image — big stone buildings, hushed galleries, sometimes a bit of that “ivory tower” feeling — but that’s definitely not what we’re all about at the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center. It’s great to have ways to reach outside of our stone building — this blog, our new Facebook page, and Slinky’s Twitter — and get a conversation going with you. As this new year really gets rolling we’re going to have a lot of updates about the new museum too, and we’ll be using the blog, Facebook, and our website to keep you informed. So, if you’ll forgive the shameless plug, go “fan” us on Facebook! And keep the conversation going. We love to hear from you.

Meet Slinky!

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator, and Michelle Brannon, Slinky Wrangler

This is me (Slinky) and my friend Toby, the K-12 Education Coordinator at the Museum

Slinky the snake is our Museum’s wonderful ambassador, semi-official mascot, and headliner of our live animal collection. You can meet Slinky and our other animals (including Sergey the Russian tortoise, Josie the rat, and some really neat insects) this Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm during our Meet the Animals program. Michelle Brannon takes care of Slinky and our other animals, and she offered to translate a blog post from Slinky to the world. So, here goes!

My name is Slinky. I’m a ball python, and my species is native to parts of Africa. I’ve never actually been to Africa, but I hear it’s a pretty neat place. I was born in captivity, which means that ever since I hatched out of my egg, I’ve been handled by people. I’ve learned that people are super nice and I love to meet new ones all the time! If I haven’t met you before, there’s a problem. You absolutely MUST come visit me! I used to live in Discovery Science Center, but I’ve moved with them to the Fort Collins Museum building in Old Town Fort Collins. I have this really big new house that is just perfect for me! It would be great if you could come check it out sometime. My favorite place is under the big log in the middle, so look for me there if I’m not out on the floor meeting you face to face.

As for what I’ve been up to lately, I’ve been supervising and entertaining the field trip groups that come to visit the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center, digesting my latest rat, and planning this blog. It’s been on my mind for a while now, let me tell you. I tried to type it myself, but I got a tail cramp. I’m learning how to type by using Twitter, but this blog is a bit longer than 140 characters. My human friends are helping me out this time around. Can you get carpel tunnel in your tail? I’ll have to ask my vet on my next visit.

Oh, my Twitter account! You guys really should check that out. I normally update it once or twice a week (I’m a little slow, not having any hands). I like to talk about upcoming events at the Museum, and share amazing facts about my favorite subject, snakes. If you want to know exactly what’s going on around here, you need to follow me. You’ll also get some random musings from inside the tank, which we all know is pretty dang cool. How many of you can say you know exactly what a snake is thinking when he’s thinking it? Share the love, becoming a Slinky follower! There’s a link at the bottom of this blog that will direct you to my Twitter page.

That’s about it for me. I would love to write more blogs, so if you liked this one, leave me a comment here, or send me a message on my Twitter page. Ask me questions, or just give me topics to discuss. I’m really getting into this internet thing, so if you ask, I’ll answer! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you around my tank soon!


What’s in a name?

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator

If you’re keeping up with our blog, you now know that we’ve selected the design/build team which will create the physical home for our new museum. We’ve been working for over a year with our exhibit design firm, Gyroscope, to create the experiences that will reside inside that building. A tremendous amount of work has already gone into the process of creating a brand-new museum from the ground up, and we’ve still got a lot of challenging and exciting work ahead of us.

But creating a new museum isn’t about us — it’s about you. You may live in Fort Collins or the surrounding area and plan to visit us often; you may be an out-of-town guest who will come see us infrequently; or you may be someone who visits our website or blog but never steps foot inside the new building. Regardless, this museum is for you.

So we want to ask you to help us do some of the work to make this new museum a reality. Specifically, we’d like your thoughts on what we should call ourselves.

Let me back up for a moment and give you a refresher: the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center, as we are known now, came from the partnership of two leading Fort Collins institutions: Discovery Science Center, and the Fort Collins Museum. We entered into a public/private partnership to build a new museum, one that would combine hands-on science and the culture and history of our region.

Here are a couple of other tidbits to help you think of the perfect name for our new museum: our mission is to “create meaningful opportunities for people of all ages to learn, reflect and have fun through hands-on and collections based explorations in science and culture.” Our vision is “to inspire inquisitive thinkers and encourage responsible stewardship of the past, present, and future.”

Most of all, we want our new Museum to be a place where people not only come away with understanding, but are inspired to action.

That’s who we want to be. Now, can you help us figure out what to call ourselves? Just leave a comment to this post with your ideas, and read other people’s ideas too. And stay tuned — developments with the new Museum are really going to take off in 2010. It’s going to be a great journey.

Calling all smarty pants! History Mystery Challenge awaits

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

I’ll admit it; I’m not much of a scavenger hunt person. I suspect this stems from when I was little and the “Easter Bunny” (that’s right, Mom and Dad, I figured it out) would hide my Easter basket each year. I’d have to search for it as my parents sat in the living room, watching me with annoyingly self-satisfied smirks on their faces. One year the basket was in the garbage can (garbage removed, thankfully). Another year it was hanging from the shower head. Then there was the time it was suspended from the pipes in the basement. The “Bunny’s” finest hour was the year it was hidden under the pile of dirty laundry in my closet (took me over 5 hours to find that one, and then I had to do the laundry, too!). Suffice to say, the experiences left me lacking in “hunter” enthusiasm.

So it was with a little trepidation (and a lot of the spirit of a good employee who wants to continue to be employed) that this week I scavenger hunted once more. You might have seen me, along with my five companions, running through Old Town Tuesday afternoon. We were a motley bunch: two directors, two curators, one educator, and very smart soon-to-be third grader with cute shoes, clutching sheets of clues and trying not to trip over curbs as we ran through town (we already had one broken arm amongst us, and that was enough). Why were we doing this? History Mystery, of course!

Now, before you panic, don’t worry, you haven’t missed it. History Mystery Challenge, the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center’s fourth annual scavenger hunt fundraising extravaganza, will be happening Friday, August 28th and there’s still time to register. What we were doing was testing out the clues – seeing if the challenge to find all the answers in less than 90 minutes was possible.

Now, I can’t tell you what the clues were, as that would be cheating and we all know that cheating is wrong, but I can tell you that solving them was a blast! Deciphering clever clues written in (cough, loose, cough) rhyming meter is way better than hunting for your Easter basket in the garage. I discovered new areas of Old Town, and on at least two occasions I was instrumental in solving a clue and it felt good to be smart. You can feel good for being smart, too, and you’ll have even more fun than I did because the actual contest has food, drink, adult beverages, door prizes, and costumes.

If you haven’t signed up for History Mystery Challenge yet, there’s still time. Visit the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center website for more information and, after all the work I did testing out these clues, I expect to see you there.

(P.S. I can’t tell you the clues (remember, kids, cheating is wrong), but for a price I may be willing to consider performing an interpretive dance that gracefully embodies the riddles. Interested parties can contact me at the Museum – I accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards.)

March 2023

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