Article originally published by KETV anchor Jack Keenan. View original story here(opens in a new tab).
Along the river’s edge at Lewis and Clark landing, more than 100 hands-on exhibits await your exploration this April.
“The Luminarium is going to be a place for everyone, everyone of all ages, identities and backgrounds, to come and explore the astonishing phenomena that shape our world, our communities, and ourselves,” said Luminarium CEO Silva Raker.
Not just a space for STEM lovers, the 82,000 square-foot space hopes to informally immerse you in a hands-on, thought-provoking and inspiring world.
“The real thing we’re trying to do is to get people to gain confidence as learners and explorers, and so we use the science as a vehicle for that but it’s really about something even deeper,” Raker said.
Alongside the ride, essential staff known as ‘Luminators,’ are tasked with ensuring a rich visitor experience.
“Trying to make people feel like they’re represented when they come,” said Luminarium Experience Manager Braxton Crowder. “People to come in that look like me you know. When I was a kid there wasn’t really a lot of places built like this in Omaha.”
The ‘Luminator’ program gives 50-60 youth and young adults work experience and peer-to-peer mentorship, no matter what a ‘Luminator’ wants to do in life.
“You don’t have to be a science major. You don’t have to be in school. I just want, when you come inside, that you have that excitement that we can give to guests, that we can give to the team,” Crowder said.
‘Luminators’, like UNL junior Cecilia Ochoa, will be there if you have questions.
“In my school, I’ve been telling people about it so for me it’s like young generations come and do something different because this is something new in Omaha and I’m so excited about it,” Ochoa said.
Every week the Luminarium will have one night dedicated to adults only.
“When we think about diversity it’s not just about ethnicity, it’s about accessibility, it’s about knowledge,” Crowder said. “We have people who know nothing about STEM. We have some that know a lot.”
Luminarium officials say they hope the space’s limitless potential encourages everyone to start a new adventure.
“We’re in an amazing world filled with beauty and curiosity,” Raker said. “It’s not something we’re serving up, it’s something we’re making together.”