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Newsroom: 2017

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Awards Crow Collection of Asian Art and Perot Museum with Prestigious Training Grants

Dallas was a big winner when the prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced its list of 28 grants totaling approximately $1.99 million for a new initiative of its “Museums for America” program. IMLS received 147 applications from U.S. museums, and Dallas was one of only two cities to receive two of the coveted training and professional-development grants. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Crow Collection of Asian Art each received grants of approximately $25,000 for diversity and inclusion training so that each organization might better serve the needs of North Texas.

  • News release (web)
  • News release (doc)
  • News release (pdf)

Season of Science

Buh-bye, pumpkin spice. Hello, season of science! As the holidays ramp up, so does the Perot Museum of Nature and Science as it celebrates an exciting “season of science” in honor of its 5th birthday on Dec. 1. Since opening in 2012, the Perot Museum has welcomed and inspired more than 5.5 million minds, engaged 90,000 North Texans through off-site community outreach, served 1.2 million students through field trips and school education programs, awarded $2 million in financial aid, welcomed 32,500 through the Community Partners ticket offer and has been the grateful recipient of more than 250,000 service hours from a dedicated team of volunteers. And there’s plenty for guests to get excited about during this celebratory month, from $5 admission on Dec. 3 and more activities during the winter break, to a fascinating space exhibition, new 3D films and one seriously big chunk of gold.

  • News release (web)
  • News release (doc)
  • News release (pdf)

Third-Largest Gold Nugget in Existence Returns to Perot Museum

One of the world’s most famous gold nuggets is making its return to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Ausrox Gold Nugget, a true rock star in the gem and mineral world, was on loan as part of the original collection that debuted in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall when the Museum opened to the public in December 2012. In 2015, the precious mineral headed south to the Houston Museum of Natural Science but is now back in all its glittering glory.

Incredibly, this treasure, found in the Eastern Goldfield of Australia, was discovered by three prospectors using a hand-held metal detector.

Tipping the scales at 23.27 kilos or 51.29 pounds, the Ausrox Nugget is regarded as the third-largest gold nugget still in existence. While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.

Journey to Space

Get as close to space as possible without leaving Earth!

What’s it like to live and work in space? How do astronauts sleep in a weightless environment, go to the bathroom in orbit, and what effect does space travel have on their bodies? Explore the extraordinary conditions, dangers and rewards of human space travel in Journey to Space, the latest traveling exhibition at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Featuring two walk-through, rotating labs that let visitors “climb aboard” the International Space Station (ISS) Destiny module, Journey to Space is a hands-on adventure for all ages that demonstrates the advancements in spacecraft and spacesuit technology that allow people to exist for longer periods of time in a hostile environment. The exhibition runs Oct. 21, 2017-May 6, 2018 with member preview days Oct. 19-20. The exhibition is presented locally by Highland Capital Management and requires a surcharge.

Presented in English and Spanish, Journey to Space explores the astonishing yet forbidding environment of space. From the vacuum of space and radiation to meteoroids and temperature extremes, guests of all ages will learn about the perils that astronauts face during their missions and the adaptations that engineers have developed to help them survive while in space. With 10,000 square feet of interactives, whole-body experiences and authentic artifacts, visitors can launch a rocket, test gravity in a drop tower, control a robotic arm, and experience the sights and sounds (and even smells!) on board an orbiting space station. Even tykes and tots will have a blast at the space station activity area and construction center, complete with dollhouses and space station figurines. Nearby, guests can marvel at Neil Armstrong’s actual helmet and gloves from his Apollo 11 mission along with numerous authentic space travel and exploration relics.

The ultimate space experience continues with Journey to Space 3D (Oct. 19, 2017-May 6, 2018) in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Narrated by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Patrick Stewart, the 20-minute film explains how space exploration didn’t die with the end of the Space Shuttle program. Rather, some of the most exciting missions of our time are ahead – from capturing asteroids to landing astronauts on Mars. 

Journey to Space was designed and developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in partnership with the International Space Station Office of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center and partner museums.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science Announces Julie Diaz as New Chief Advancement Officer

Julie Diaz headshotThe Perot Museum of Nature and Science has tapped widely respected nonprofit leader Julie Diaz, best known for her work at Greenhill School and SMU, as its new chief advancement officer. Diaz, who will assume her duties October 16, will guide and oversee the Museum’s development, membership, sales and marketing departments.

Diaz brings an impressive background to the position that includes leading the fundraising, board and alumni relations, marketing and communications efforts in the nonprofit, performing arts and education sectors. In addition, she is intimately familiar with Dallas, having recently served nearly a decade as chief advancement officer at Greenhill where she led a successful $54.5-million capital campaign and unified the school’s branding, among her many accomplishments.

The hiring of Diaz rounds out the Museum’s executive leadership team, which also includes Sally Berven, chief financial officer; Dave Humphries, chief operating officer, Dan Kohl, chief innovation officer; Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, vice president of research and collections and chief curator; and Mary Baerg, who was recently named to the newly created position of chief experience officer. The management team reports to CEO Dr. Silver, an experienced and dynamic leader in the nonprofit science and technology education sector. She joined the Perot Museum in early July from the Government of Abu Dhabi, where she had led science and technology promotion initiatives for the Technology Development Committee (TDC) as associate director since 2011.

Perot Museum Scientist Co-Authors Paper on Discovery of Japan's Oldest Fossil Bird

During a walk near a reservoir in Hokkaido, Japan, amateur collectors (and brothers) made the discovery of their lives – the first and oldest fossil bird ever identified in their country. The new species has been named Chupkaornis keraorum – Chupka is the Ainu word used by indigenous people from Hokkaido for ‘eastern,’ and keraorum is named after Masatoshi and Yasuji Kera, who discovered the specimen. The bird would have lived during the time when dinosaurs roamed the land. The scientific paper describing the find has been posted by the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Perot Museum VP of Research and Collections and Chief Curator Anthony R. Fiorillo, Ph.D. is a co-author on the paper and works with several of the Japanese co-authors in his Alaska field work. The discovery has broader importance beyond Asia. “This study not only tells important new information about the evolution of this unusual group of birds, it also helps further our understanding of life in the ancient northern Pacific region, more specifically what was going on in the ocean while dinosaurs walked the land,” Dr. Fiorillo explained.

See and read more about the discovery below.

  • Scientific reconstruction Chupkaornis keraorum by Japanese paleo-artist Masato Hattori
  • Press Release (doc)
  • Press Release (web)
  • Press Release (PDF)
  • Research paper in Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (PDF)

2017-2018 Season at the Perot Museum

Astronauts and dinosaurs and one-of-a-kind minerals! Demonstrating that science spans all dimensions, the Perot Museum of Nature of Science unveils its lineup for 2017-2018. Headlining the season are two traveling exhibitions – Journey to Space (Oct. 21, 2017-May 6, 2018), which includes a full-size simulated International Space Station, and Ultimate Dinosaurs (June 23, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019), which brings to life a new menagerie of dinosaurs discovered in the Southern Hemisphere. The 2017-2018 season also offers up a score of offerings to appease all ages and interests – from a brilliant cast of National Geographic speakers, architecture tours of the building and adults-only nights, to new 3D films, family-fun Discovery Days, seasonal Discovery Camps and more.

Press release (web)
Press release (doc)
Press release (PDF)
Photos of Journey to Space
Photos of Ultimate Dinosaurs

The Eyes of Africa

Ten years after a spectacular “alien eye” mineral was unearthed by a miner in Namibia, the enormous and intensely beautiful specimen – dubbed The Eyes of Africa – makes its debut at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals HallAn unprecedented discovery that has garnered a cult-like following in the mineral-collecting community, 2-foot-tall The Eyes of Africais not only rare, mesmerizing, and the largest known specimen, but the story – and 10-year journey – behind its discovery is unusual and intriguing.

Press release (web)
Press release (doc)
Press release (PDF)
Photos (Dropbox) - Please include mineral shot credit.  
Detailed story of its discovery (PDF)
Q&A about Eyes of Africa (PDF)

Perot Museum Appoints Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver as Eugene Mcdermott Chief Executive Officer

The Board of Directors of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas announced that Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver, an experienced and dynamic leader in the nonprofit science and technology education sector, has been named the Museum's Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer. She will assume her duties July 1, 2017.

Spring Break at the Perot Museum

With the largest, most comprehensive Maya exhibition ever to tour the U.S., gripping 3D films, spring break camps, Discovery Days, special programming, sleepovers, extended hours and more, 
the Perot Museum is anything but a garden-variety destination this spring.

  • Press release (web)
  • Press release (doc)
  • Press release (PDF)

National Conversation on Educational Access and Equity

The National Archives Foundation, in partnership with the Perot Museum, presented A National Conversation on Educational Access and Equity Tuesday, March 7 in the Museum’s Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. The event began with a keynote conversation with veteran journalist and commentator Cokie Roberts and Gregg Fleisher, president of the National Math and Science Initiative, followed by remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. Roberts then moderated a panel discussion about the most critical educational issues in front of our nation today. The impressive lineup of panelists included National LULAC President Hector Flores, Commit! Executive Director Todd Williams, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell, and early education expert Sharon Shaffer.

  • National Archives Foundation press release (doc)
  • National Archives Foundation press release (PDF)
  • Photos

Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

A jewel-studded royal tomb, hidden languages, human sacrifice, sports and extraordinary architecture. All define the fascinating Maya civilization that is the bedrock of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s traveling exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed. The largest traveling Maya exhibition ever to tour the U.S., the 10,000-foot display brings together more than 200 authentic artifacts and immersive environments to explore the astonishing accomplishments of one of the most powerful indigenous Mesoamerican civilizations, which still has millions of living descendants today. Visitors will learn how the Maya built towering temples and created an intricate calendar system while discovering what archaeologists have uncovered about the once-hidden ancient Maya and the unresolved questions about why their cities were abandoned. Through hands-on activity stations complete with video and simulations, guests can decipher hieroglyphs, learn cultural and architectural techniques, and explore an underworld cave, ancient burial site, mural room and more. The bilingual exhibition, presented in English and Spanish, requires a surcharge for members and non-members. Presented by Highland Capital Management, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed will run through Sept. 4, 2017, at the Perot Museum. Member preview days are Feb. 9-10.

Mars Bus Experience

In partnership with Lockheed Martin’s Generation Beyond program, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will host the high-tech Mars Experience Bus on Saturday, Jan. 7, in the Museum’s front parking lot. The approximately four-minute “journey” on the 30-passenger bus is free with general admission to the Museum.

The bus, which took 100 people five months to create, uses mobile virtual reality to show visitors what it’s like to drive on Mars’ surface. Created by Lockheed Martin, it features four 85-inch high-definition 4K monitors – and the film and animation run the Unreal 4 game engine, the same technology that powers the biggest hit video games. Family-friendly activity stations around the bus include stomp rockets, a “Mars photo” opportunity and an interactive model of the International Space Station.

While not mapped to specific features of Mars, the images bus visitors see are based on raw NASA image files from the planet. The animation includes a few manmade objects on Mars today, such as the Curiosity Rover, and passes through what the first base camp on Mars might look like. The Lockheed Martin team mapped more than 200 square miles of Mars for riders to virtually travel through.

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