The new Eureka! McConnell Science Museum (EMSM) is off to a running start! With several new exhibits and a much bigger space, they are attracting visitors from all over the state.
To salute the trailblazing museum, Alpine Bank Grand Junction held a celebration in April to highlight what they are doing for kids and science in Mesa County. The bank also presented them with a donation of $50,000.00 towards their new building, which is connected to the Colorado Mesa University Engineering Department.
“We are so happy to see the Center renamed to Eureka! McConnell Science Museum and expanded to Colorado Mesa University. We believe it holds great promise for the future for students, staff and the public,” says John McConnell, the museum founder.
John and his wife Audrey moved to Grand Junction in 1990 from New Mexico with plans of a quiet retirement. John soon realized he had a passion for helping kids after being asked to help a teacher with science in the classroom. Taking a few kids a week to his home workshop grew to helping with science in more and more schools, and even taking his show on the road to surrounding communities. Eventually, John was able to use an open classroom at Windgate Elementary to set up his exhibits and displays and show kids demonstrations in a hands-on manner. The museum has grown by leaps and bounds ever since, and in 2009, they hired their first paid director.
“We are continually thankful for the generosity of Alpine Bank in our community. Their contribution to the new EUREKA! Museum provides opportunities for families across the western slope to interact with hands on science. We are proud of our partnership,” says Jenn Moore, Executive Director of the Science Museum.
For more information about the Science Museum, visit www.eurekasciencemuseum.org.
Pictured is Jenn Moore, executive director and John Hopkins, president of the board being presented with a check from Clay Tufly and Tawni Kelley for their new building.