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Advisory Board

A Message from the Chair

Steve_Birke_outdoorsThank you for visiting the website for Minnesota’s Natural History Museum – the Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota. I am honored to lead the Advisory Board that guides this important scientific and cultural resource for new, eager minds to explore our past, investigate the present and protect our future. I encourage you to explore the website and learn more about this treasured museum and planetarium.

The Advisory Board has established a number of short-term goals. The most important of these is to improve the museum’s public facility and add a state-of-the-art planetarium. The current 1940-era building lacks many of the amenities a 21st century audience expects, and it limits the museum’s ability to educate and inspire. If approved and constructed, a new Bell Museum and Planetarium will expand on its tradition of providing hands-on experiences for Minnesotans grounded in the best of current University research.

My goal—and that of the museum—is to spark your imagination and involvement.  Browse the website and review the building information below. Contact me with your comments or questions.

Steve Birke signature

Steve Birke, Chair, Bell Museum Advisory Board

A special Invitation: Bell Day at the Capitol!


Inspiring STEM Careers Throughout Minnesota

Thursday, April 24, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., State Capital Rotunda

The Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium Advisory Board invites fans and supporters to join with us to support a new Bell Museum. We are hosting this important event at the State Capitol Rotunda, to show state legislators the Bell’s vital role in educating current and future leaders in science, technology, engineering and math right here in Minnesota.

The museum of natural history was created by an act of the Minnesota Legislature in 1872, and today in 2014 we are asking the legislature to again stand up and fund a new, state of the art museum of natural history—including a planetarium that will serve as the state’s flagship planetarium. With your passion and love of the Bell Museum and Planetarium, your presence at this event can really make a difference and show legislators that the Bell inspires and promotes scientific learning and inquiry at all ages, at all levels of education and throughout Minnesota.

We will be creating a mini-Bell Museum and Planetarium with museum materials, and a half-dome with 15-minute planetarium shows. There will also be displays about the work the Bell Museum and Planetarium currently does and what we will be able to do once we have a revitalized facility. All visitors will be encouraged to visit the offices of their state representatives and state senator in support of bonding for a new Bell Museum and Planetarium.

Daniela Bell, Bell Museum Advisory Board

Updates from the Advisory Board

March 5, 2014

The Advisory Board issues a press release to express their support for the legislation.

February 25, 2014
Legislation is introduced to provide funding for a new Bell Museum and Planetarium facility, and also for construction of outdoor education areas. The specific bills are HF2041 and HF2042, and SF1763 and SF1764.

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

Learn more about the proposed new museum facility by downloading a fact sheet or a set of maps that document a portion of our statewide service.  Read the 1872 legislation that created our museum and mission.  Or browse our FAQs page.

A pre-design report was recently completed for the proposed Bell Museum and Planetarium.

The Falcon Heights City Council passed a resolution supporting the project.

Be Involved

This public museum needs your involvement and creativity.