A new museum + planetarium

The new Bell Museum + Planetarium will take you on an engaging journey from the origins of the universe, through the flowering of life on earth, to the formation of Minnesota's diverse habitats. Permanent exhibit galleries will tell a global story with a unique Minnesota perspective, and our world-renowned Jaques dioramas will come alive for visitors as they discover the web of connections that tie together people, nature and the environment.

We will also return a state-of-the-art public planetarium to Minnesota that will examine everything from the vastness of the universe to deep inside plant life and the human body.

The new museum facility will allow us to:

  • Nearly triple the number of annual visitors to 105,000
  • Improve accessibility and opportunities for underserved communities
  • Inspire the next generation of scientists and eco-innovators to make an impact in our communities
  • Create a gathering space for lifelong learning and imagining the future
  • Provide a gateway to U of M research, citizen science projects, and conversations on the world's biggest challenges


Your gift will help to ignite curiosity and wonder in learners of all ages, offering them a place to explore their connection to nature and the universe, and empowering them to create a better future for our evolving world. Whether you support enhancing exhibits with interactive features and new technology or world-class programs and experiences for learners of all ages, every gift makes a big difference.

Learn more about two special giving options:

Bell siteplan - as of Feb2016

Make a gift

Help us build a world-class museum on the Saint Paul campus! You can be part of the story by contributing to enhanced exhibits, technology, and state of the art visitor experiences.

To make a gift online, please visit our online giving page.

To make a gift by mail, please fill out the giving form and mail with enclosed payment per the instructions.

In addition to a cash donation, there are many other ways to contribute. For more information, contact Laura Vitko, Membership and Development Manager.

Email: krue0192@umn.edu
Office: 612-624-0089

Project update

Capital Planning and Project Management is charged by the university with stewardship for systemwide capital, physical, space, and campus development projects like the Bell Museum facility. Recent construction highlights include:

Work continues on the building's exterior. Corten steel panel installation is visible on the northeast corner and will continue to wrap around the museum. Inside, work progresses on the planetarium, exhibition galleries, classrooms, and meeting rooms. 

Check out the construction site web camera—and be sure to click the "Time-Lapse Movie" button.

Construction progress in December 2016

Interested in getting bi-weekly email updates? Send an email request to cppm@umn.edu.