Monday, 15 January 2007: 4:30 PM
How Partnering National Research Laboratories, Informal Science Educators, and Shoppers Converge at the Twenty Ninth Street Wonders of Science Project
206B (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
The wonders of science are more visible and accessible to the public thanks to an unprecedented partnership involving six world renowned science research institutions and a commercial land development corporation in the Denver metropolitan region. The October 2006 opening of the Twenty Ninth Street retail sales center (formerly Crossroad Mall) in Boulder, Colorado, has revitalized 60 acres in the heart of the city with shopping, dining, entertainment facilities and open spaces accommodating public events and science education installations. Early in the planning of this complex urban renewal project, outdoor plazas were designated along Twenty Ninth Street for which the region's long-standing science centers were invited to propose exhibits, computer kiosks, and informal science education events. The goal is to celebrate the significance of science and technology to the community, increase awareness of each institution's research and educational resources, and entice visitors of all ages to learn more about science, engineering, and related careers. With opening events completed, it is now possible to describe how the public is responding to the Wonders of Science at Twenty Ninth Street, to summarize lessons learned about this ambitious science education collaboration, and to describe plans to sustain public and the K-12 community interest into the future. Partners in the Wonders of Science at Twenty Ninth Street include the National Center for Atmospheric Research, National Institute for Science and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the University of Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Space Science Institute, and Westcor, the shopping mall's developer.