The project includes construction of three new classrooms and a teacher resource center on the Aquarium’s second floor.
From weekly preschool classes and school programs to workshops and conferences, the Exploratorium will immerse learners of all ages in a dynamic, educational environment with interactive learning stations, hands-on touch tanks, and windows to Duluth’s incredible harbor and working waterfront.
“The Exploratorium will enable us to serve an expanding group of participants in unique and meaningful ways,” said Sarah Erickson, Education Director, Great Lakes Aquarium. “It will be a place where people play, learn and gather together as teachers, students and engaged members of the Lake Superior community to strengthen their connection to the lake and each other.”
The Exploratorium project also includes a significant enhancement to a recently installed distance learning lab.
The high tech videoconferencing studio allows Aquarium educators to transmit environmental programming to area classrooms and other remote locations.
This is just the first step in a broader partnership for Minnesota Power and Great Lakes Aquarium based on a shared commitment to community, sustainability and viability.
Another key element of the partnership includes helping Great Lakes Aquarium reach its goal of a more energy-efficient facility. Upcoming projects include replacing the lighting for the Aquarium’s water wall with high efficiency, new technology ColorBlast lighting. Minnesota Power is purchasing these lights and will use the Aquarium as a research site to test their functionality, efficiency and durability.
A second initiative will replace all existing Aquarium lights with high efficiency LED lighting with a long-term goal of reducing the building’s electrical energy consumption by 30%.
Source: Great Lakes Aquarium press release