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Exploratorium a Key Partner in Omaha’s Kiewit Luminarium

November 16, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (November 16, 2020)—Construction began today on the newly-named Kiewit Luminarium: a place for discovery, a next-generation science center dedicated to inspiring lifelong learning and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at Omaha’s Lewis and Clark Landing. The new center is part of the city’s RiverFront Revitalization Project. The Exploratorium is a key partner and consultant in the project, working to co-create interactive exhibits, immersive environments and vibrant programs that support the launch of the new center through research, reflection, professional development, and collaboration with community partners.

“I believe the Kiewit Luminarium will be among the nation’s most innovative and inclusive science centers when it opens its doors in 2023,” said Silva Raker, senior business director for global collaboration at the Exploratorium. “Our work together is setting a new bar for marrying STEM with natural history, and we are learning from our partners and the community as much
as we are contributing to them.”

The hope for the new science center is that it will be a wellspring of innovation and inclusion, drawing families, young adults, and tourists to the community. In addition, a key goal is to boost interest in STEM careers among historically underrepresented groups in those fields. The Kiewit Luminarium will share the Exploratorium’s interactive and learner-centered approach, as reflected in the design and development of programs and exhibits underway for the new center.

While this is among the largest collaborations the Exploratorium has undertaken, it is certainly not the first. The Exploratorium has been a key partner to other organizations and projects around the world, including work with Brazil’s Serviço Social da Indústria (SESI) to create exhibits and experiences for a new science center in Brasília, exhibit and professional development for a hands-on Science Studio in Ramallah, Palestine, and in its hometown of San Francisco, the Exploratorium recently partnered with San Francisco City Planning, the San Francisco Public Library, and key community stakeholders on a public installation located in the city’s Civic Center, entitled Middle Ground: Reconsidering Ourselves and Others. The installation focuses on engaging the public in aspects of social science, inviting people to learn more about themselves and how they relate to the people around them by interacting with the installation and each other.

Through local and global collaborations with partners and organizations that value lifelong learning, teaching, and curiosity, the Exploratorium shares its knowledge of exhibit making, program creation, and professional development garnered over its 50+ year history. While the Exploratorium has been closed to the public since March 2020 amid the pandemic, partnerships and consultation has been a driving force in the nonprofit’s financial resilience, and an extension of its mission to democratize science learning throughout the world.