'Changes' exhibition open at
Illinois State Museum
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SPRINGFIELD -- With a ribbon-cutting last Saturday
(June 12), the
State Museum unveiled
"Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments,"
a new natural history experience. The exhibition is described as the most
dramatic in the history of the museum. Visitors are invited to join the team
of the Changes Institute to explore, discover and learn about the
fascinating changes in the climate, land, plants and animals in the place now known as
10 years in the making, "Changes" was
conceptualized and designed by a team of Illinois State Museum
exhibition, education and scientific staff and is based upon the
museum's extensive natural history collections and associated
Dr. R. Bruce McMillan, museum director,
said, "'Changes' is the most significant renovation of the
Illinois State Museum since the building opened to the public in
1963 and is an exhibition that will attract national acclaim."
Through hands-on interactives, thousands of authentic
fossils and natural history specimens, life-sized dioramas, and exciting
audio and video effects, the exhibition explores what scientists
consider to be 500 million years of
environmental change in Illinois.
See giant sharks and other sea
creatures that thrived in shallow seas when Illinois is believed to
have been located
near the equator. Try your hand at becoming a Devonian shark
searching for lunch in the computer game Shark Attack. See fernlike
trees, giant dragonflies and learn how coal formed in Illinois. Walk
through a fluorite mine to view Illinois' state mineral. Enter the
hall of Illinois dinosaurs and find out why it is empty! Cool off
walking through a glacial cave and enter into the Ice Ages.
Experience the glacial environment where the giant short-faced bear
once walked. See the museum's renowned mastodon skeleton, now joined
by a skeleton of a Jefferson's ground sloth and giant beaver.
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View the Illinois River as it looked at
the time of Marquette and Joliet. Explore the Illinois River with
the computer-based Digital River Basin. Compare the diverse
environments of the modern era -- from the Lake Michigan shoreline
to the Cache River swamps.
There's something for everyone and for
people of all ages in this dramatic new hands-on exhibition.
Ferry and Associates Architects of
Springfield and Siciliano Inc. of Springfield designed and completed
the architectural modifications to house the exhibition. Ginkgo
Design of St. Louis and Chase Studios of Cedarcreek, Mo., completed
the final design and fabrication of the exhibits. The Illinois
Capital Development Board managed the construction with assistance
and coordination from the Office of Capital Development of the
Department of Natural Resources.
million project was funded by the state of Illinois through the
Capital Development Board, with additional support from the Ameren
Corporation and grants from the National Science Foundation, the
Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Illinois State
Museum Society, known as the 1877 Club.
State Museum has been telling the story of the land, life, people
and art of Illinois for more than 125 years.
Department of Natural Resources