As the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences kicked off the 24-hour grand opening celebration of its Nature Research Center, thousands of visitors couldn’t miss the SECU Daily Planet.
The centerpiece of new museum wing was named in recognition of the $4 million grant provided by members of State Employees’ Credit Union via the SECU Foundation.
The giant silver globe, which serves as the focal point for the museum’s new wing, is a three-story multimedia program area, which boasts a theater with multi-channel surround sound and a 45-foot high-definition screen. Plans for the space, which can accommodate over 100 visitors at a time, include presentations of key environmental issues and ground-breaking discoveries by scientists from the museum, partnering universities and from around the world. In addition, students and teachers in all 100 North Carolina counties can also enjoy selected SECU Daily Planet programs through the North Carolina Research and Education Network.
The Nature Resource Center, which includes several green features, has been designed to also provide students, teachers and the general public with a unique opportunity to meet and learn directly from scientists.
The overall Nature Research Center project was a 5-year undertaking with a cost of $56 million and is expected to add more than 200,000 visitors to the 700,000 who tour the museum each year.
According to Jim Barber, chairman of the SECU Foundation board of directors, the SECU Daily Plant was a natural fit, as it supports one of the Foundation’s objectives of funding high impact projects in the area of education.
“Using technology to bring natural science presentations to all classrooms in our State, SECU Daily Planet will provide the Museum of Natural Sciences and its new Nature Research Center with the ability to offer enhanced science education to teachers and students across North Carolina,” Barber said.
SECU Daily Planet Photo Credit: Art Howard
Daytime Globe Photo Credit: Brian Russell