The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History first started out as the Fort Worth Children's Museum in 1941 on Summit Street. The building the current Fort Worth Museum is housed in opened in 2007. During this time, the museum has improved and expanded, now featuring a variety of both permanent and changing exhibitions. Next read: Best Things to Do in Fort Worth.

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1.DinoLabs & DinoDig

DinoLabs & DinoDig  

Fort Worth Museum's DinoLabs and DinoDig bring to life the intriguing story of the dinosaurs found in North Texas. This story is told through complete dinosaur skeleton articulations of dinosaurs that were native to the Fort Worth region, as well as a replica of a paleontological field dig site. A 62-foot long, giant dinosaur topiary can also be found outside DinoLabs.

DinoLabs, a 3,700 square-foot gallery, provides visitors to experience the enormity of the Paluxysaurus jonesi, the state dinosaur of Texas. The exhibit also showcases several other articulations dinosaur skeletons, including the Tenontosaurus dossi. Casts and fossils of additional dinosaurs are on exhibit as well. The museum's specimen of the Paluxysaurus jonesi is more than 12 feet tall, over 60 feet long, and weighs in at 22 tons. Every one of the dinosaur articulations featured at the Fort Worth Museum is comprised of as many authentic fossils as possible, instead of only fossil replicas. In addition to the dinosaur skeletons, visitors can learn how scientists prepare and study fossils to figure out how animals lived and interacted with their environment.

DinoLabs also provides guests with a chance to determine a dinosaur's size and its environment by measuring bones, experiment with fossils, and utilize microscopic discovery to contrast characteristics of fossil with characteristics of modern-day plants. An interactive imaging station gives visitors an opportunity to reconstruct their own dinosaur, as well as finding the correct flora and fauna for the dinosaur, based on information gathered from the exhibit. Guests can choose the dinosaur's size, skin texture and color, living environment, and diet by inputting the information into the computer.

DinoDig, which began at the museum in 1993, is an outdoor fossil experience. The exhibit, a favorite among young guests, offers visitors an opportunity to "become a paleontologist" while they discover the required skills to unearth and excavate fossils in a replica of the Jones Ranch. The Paluxysaurus jonesi was discovered at the ranch in 1982. The reproduction of the ranch features rock formations based on the real-life dig site and embedded with fossils. Guests can find authentic fossils of snails, clams, ammonites, and sea biscuits. Field guides are also provided for visitors to explore the methodology of fossil excavation.

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2.Fort Worth Children's Museum

Fort Worth Children's Museum  

The Forth Worth Children's Museum, formerly housed in a house on Summit Street, gives children a play to play and have fun while learning at the same time. The museum is designed for infants to eight year olds, as well as for the adults that take care of them. The Children's Museum includes an infant and toddler developmental area, parent resource room that doubles as a multi-purpose space, a natural science area, and a healthy kids clinic. The natural science area showcases a Galapagos turtle, one of the largest fully articulated specimens from the Fort Worth Museum's natural science collection. The turtle is displayed in a large dome in order for the young guests to view it from any angle. Live amphibians and reptiles are also showcased throughout the children's museum in environments replicated from their native habitats.

The exhibition area also includes the kid's grocery, and an indoor block-building space where kids have the opportunity to build a train. Outside is a construction exhibit area where kids can build things and numerous interactive stations that involve water. The outdoor exhibit space is covered by Ricardo Legorreta's dazzling pink "Rosa Mexicano" pergola. Greeting visitors at the entrance to the Fort Worth Children's Museum is a replica of the dragon head from the Summit Street museum back in the 1940's and 1950's. The children's museum also features a handful of the glass bubble tubes from the Hands on Science gallery.

Energy Blast

The Energy Blast exhibit space at the Fort Worth Museum explains the progressive story of North Texas and its energy resources through a special combination of history and science. The exhibit brings technology, innovative thinking, and physics to life as guests learn about geophysical formations, experiment with new resources, and calculate drilling directions and depths. Visitors are immersed into the world of both regional and alternative energy resources through dioramas, interactive exhibits, learning stations, and multimedia. Energy Blast particularly focuses on pioneers who through innovation keep energy a leading industry in North Texas.

Visitors enter the exhibit via a multi-sensory prehistoric undersea environment, inspired by how Fort Worth looked 300 million years ago. They then enter the 4D theater, located in the Devon Energy Theater, to experience the Journey to the Center of Barnett Shale. The six minute show explains how the natural gas found within the shale deposits of the region formed. The science and history of the North Texas shale deposits are brought to life in the 4D experience as guests put on 3D glass and take off to prehistoric times aboard "TimeCraft." Visitors to the exhibit will also learn how the petroleum engineers and geoscientists extracted the natural gas with the help of science and advanced technologies.

Another exhibit within Energy Blast is a seismic vibroseis truck that weighs 50,000 pounds, surrounded by interactive games demonstrating the methodology behind the truck. These seismic vibroseis trucks are used to send sound waves underground up to one and half miles. Geologist then input the seismic data into computers to produce 3D images, allowing them to see exactly where underground formations and gas deposits are located. The seismic vibroseis truck is located just outside of the 4D theater.

Energy Blast also features a drilling apparatus measuring 30 feet tall in the production and exploration area of the exhibit, and full-sized command center "doghouse" where guests can experience a well. Visitors can step into the "doghouse" and watch as a real technician demonstrates how a well is drilled as roughnecks work on the rig floor outside.

The exhibition area culminates with the opportunity for guests to "power" a model city by using critical thinking to decide on the correct combination of energy sources required to power a large city. Visitors will choose from a variety of energy resources, such as hydroelectricity, geothermal, wind, and solar. The message behind the activity is that we will need new energy strategies to meet the long-term, sustainability we will need in the future to maintain our standard of living. Energy Blast ends with "Energy Pioneers," a computer station where guests can learn more about industry innovators.

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3.Cattle Raisers Museum

Cattle Raisers Museum  

The Cattle Raisers Museum, a 10,000 square foot museum within the Fort Worth Museum, aims to tell the story of the cattle industry and preserve its history. Guests begin their journey by learning about the origins and development of ranching as an industry, as well as a cultural phenomenon back in the 1850's. Visitors will then continue their journey of the cattle industry and on to the industry's future. An interactive gallery illustrates both the accomplishments and challenges of the past 150 years of the cattle raisers in Texas and the rest of the Southwest region.

The Trail Mural, located near the museum's entrance, is a giant curved mural of Tom Gilleon's Goodnight Loving Trail. The mural's images transition from a thunderstorm to a hot day on the prairie. It features a soundscape of lowing cattle, jingling spurs, Blue's Bell, and plodding hooves that help make the experience complete. Early achievements and difficulties from 1850 to 1890 are featured in The Open Range Trail, such as the invention of barbed wire and rounding up cattle on the open range. This exhibit area also features the Ride-A-Long Roundup. Visitors can mount one of four interactive horses equipped with computer screens for a ride to test the horse's skill at driving cattle on an open range. There is a 5th horse that is stationary for those who aren't able to experience the simulated ride. The horses face a mural depicting the Charles Goodnight trail.

The New Horizons Trail showcases the growth and expansion of the cattle industry from 1890 to 1940,, as well as the hardships faced during the Great Depression. Activities in the space include branding games, the Cattle Car Theater, and "Run-A-Ranch," where guests can build and manage their very own virtual ranch. A computer takes a guest's choices and plots how his or her ranch would fare in the early days of cattle raising over a year's time.

The Vision Trail highlights the industry's modern innovations and more efficient ways of bringing cattle to market from 1940 to 2000. The exhibit tells the story of the rise of "mom and pop" style cattle raising operations thanks to modern transportation. The Digital Trail demonstrates how technology and innovation took the cattle industry into the 21st century. The exhibit features the nutritional qualities of beef, as well as a list of products made from cattle that are used in daily life. Current innovations showcased include virtual fences, GPS tracking, and the bovine genome project.

9/11 Tribute Exhibit

The centerpiece of the 9/11 Tribute exhibit is a full-fa├žade panel called N-101 that once supported floors 101-103 of the World Trade Center's North Tower. The beam was located two stories above the middle of the impact zone. N-101 is made up of three steel columns that are bolted together. At three stories high, it is the largest artifact from the World Trade Center in Texas.

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1600 Gendy St, Fort Worth, TX 76107, Phone: 817-255-9300

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Things to Do in Texas: The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History