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A New Museum and Planetarium Nears Reality!

May 18, 2014

Dear project supporter,

I am excited to announce that funding will be provided to construct a new Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. After years of planning, fundraising and advocacy, our shared dream of expanding awareness of Minnesota's natural history and STEM education is being realized. Thank you for all you have done to make this dream a reality!

The new museum and planetarium will be built on the northwest edge of the University's campus in St. Paul. 

President Eric Kaler's commitment to improving STEM education for Minnesota has made the difference. When the opportunity arose to creatively finance the construction, President Kaler stepped up to keep our project alive.

Interim Dean Brian Buhr, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, is thrilled to have the project funded. "I'm looking forward to opening the new museum and planetarium, and expanding its role of explaining University research." Buhr says. "This museum complex will be the gateway to the St. Paul campus and a jewel in providing hands-on experiences to future scientists, educators and natural resource professionals."
Diorama Booklet

I am grateful for the steadfast leadership provided by Representative Alice Hausman, who has championed the project for over a decade. This positive outcome speaks volumes about her outstanding integrity and vision of Minnesota's future STEM-related workforce.

Finally, I am extremely grateful for the many hours of volunteer service by our Advisory Board, led by chair Steve Birke, and co-vice chairs Lee Pfannmuller and Peter Lepik. They led our advocacy efforts with an infectious brand of passion and commitment to improving and expanding STEM education.


Steve Birke signature

Susan Weller, Executive Director, Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium 



Board Members

Here are the community members who have stepped forward to guide the museum.

Board Vision

View the Advisory Board's short-term goals for the museum.

New Building

Read the 1872 legislation that created our museum and mission. In 2009 a conceptual plan was completed for a new permanent exhibition tentatively titled Minnesota's Nature Gallery.

If you are curious about our dioramas—their history, why they are so useful and important, and their role in the new museum—read our FAQs about the Bell Museum dioramas.

Be Involved

This public museum needs your involvement and creativity.