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Engineers Week and Discovery Days at the Museum of Nature & Science

In honor of National Engineers Week, the Museum of Nature & Science will celebrate with snazzy activities, savvy scientists, shockingly cool contraptions and more at Engineers Week from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday, February 20, through Friday, February 24, in the MNS Science Building. From buckyballs, squishy circuits, robo mania and other hands-on activities, to daily engineer chats with North Texas professionals, to electrifying live shows featuring Tesla coils and more, the Museum will offer a week’s worth of fun for all ages. To follow up Engineers Week, the family-fun Discovery Days: Discover Technology festival will take place from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, February 25, and from noon – 5 p.m. Sunday, February 26, in the MNS Science Building and Nature Building. Engineers Week, presented by IBM and supported by Lockheed Martin, and Discovery Days, sponsored by IBM and Lockheed Martin, are free for MNS members and included with the cost of admission for non-members. Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds initiative is the 2012 season sponsor for the Museum of Nature & Science.

Open with regular hours on President’s Day (February 20), the Museum will kick off Engineers Week with daily hands-on activities including body rhythm, bunny copters, augmented reality and more. Visitors also will face-off against IBM’s famous Jeopardy champion Watson, an artificial intelligence advanced analytical computing system, in Jeopardy: You vs. Watson. For an electrifying experience, the ever-popular Electric Theater live stage shows will be held daily in the MNS Science Building auditorium at 10:30 a.m. (excluding Feb. 22) and 12:30 p.m. (excluding Feb. 21).

Professionals from some of North Texas’ top technology and engineering organizations will be on site for daily “ask an engineer” chats at 11:30 a.m. February 20 – 24 in the MNS Science Building Viewspace Theater. (For the detailed schedule, click here or see end of release.)

The excitement continues that weekend with two days of tech-tastic family fun at Discovery Days: Discover Technology February 25 – 26. All the interactive excitement from Engineers Week will continue in the MNS Science Building with additional activities in the Nature Building. Lightning bolts, fireballs and other hair-raising fun will take stage for the Smash Hits of PhySci show at 1 and 3 p.m. February 25 – 26 in the MNS Science Building auditorium. Other highlights will include stomp rockets, submarine divers, LED “throwies” and more. “A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words, Finding the Treasures Hidden in Maps” will show visitors how to explore pirates, find tornado alley, map zoos and more.

On February 20 and February 25 – 26, the Dallas Personal Robotics Group will be on site with their impressive creations and ready to talk about building robots. Additionally, Dallas Makerspace will showcase their wildly imaginative inventions made from common household objects and scraps of metal.

Museum visitors can stop by and see three live sharks in the lobby of the MNS Science Building. Temporarily moved from the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, the sharks are housed in a 515-gallon two-tank aquarium display and are fed on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. An aquarist is on hand for the twice-weekly feedings to talk about the sharks and answer questions, making it a popular interactive activity. On Saturdays at 1 p.m., visitors can learn about the interesting anatomy of sharks while witnessing a shark dissection in the Viewspace Theater.

For the ultimate shark experience, the 12,000-square-foot Planet Shark: Predator or Prey features explanations and examinations of almost every aspect of the shark. From evolution and biology to popular culture and the fin trade, the massive five-gallery exhibition guides visitors through the murky myths and fascinating facts that have surrounded sharks for centuries. The Planet Shark: Just for Kids activity area features a collaborative daily art mural and underwater-themed activities within the exhibition. Note: A surcharge is required for Planet Shark: Predator or Prey.

Other highlights include Planetarium shows Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 25-26); The Trinity photography exhibition; and IMAX® films including SHARKS, Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World and Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure.

For more information, go to natureandscience.org or call 214-428-5555.

Hours, Sponsors and General Information

The Museum is open with regular hours on President’s Day (Monday, February 20). Regular hours of operation are from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and from noon – 5 p.m. Sundays.

Engineers Week and Discovery Days are free for MNS members and included with the cost of admission for non-members. Regular general exhibit admission is $10 for adults 18-61; $9 for seniors 62+ and students 12-17; $7 for children 2-11; children under 2 are free. MNS members of all ages are admitted for free.

Planet Shark: Predator or Prey requires a surcharge in addition to the purchase of MNS general admission for a total admission cost of $18 for adults 18-61; $16 for seniors 62+ and students 12-17; $13 for children 2-11; and $5 for MNS members of all ages. Children under 2 are free.

IMAX® shows require additional tickets: $7.50 for adults 18-61 (member adults $6); $6.50 for seniors 62+, students 12-17 and children 2-11 (member seniors, students and children $5). Children under 2 are free.

The Twin Fin Package, which includes admission to Planet Shark: Predator or Prey and any IMAX® film, is $24 for adults 18-61, $22 for students 12-17 and seniors 62+; $18 for children 2-11; and $10 for MNS members of all ages.

Planetarium tickets are $3.50 for non-member adults, students, seniors and children 2-11; and $2.50 for member adults, students, seniors and children ages 2-11. Children under 2 are free.

Tickets for the Museum, IMAX® and Planetarium shows, and all special exhibits are available online.

The Museum of Nature & Science campus is located in Fair Park. The Science Building is at 1318 S. 2nd Ave., the Nature Building is at 3535 Grand Ave., and the Planetarium is at 1620 First Ave., Dallas, TX, 75210. Parking is available via Gate 5 or Gate 6 and is always free, except during State Fair. MNS can also be accessed via the DART Green Line with stops at MLK, Jr. and Fair Park stations.

For more information, please call 214-428-5555 or go to natureandscience.org.

About the Museum of Nature & Science

The Museum of Nature & Science – the result of a unique merger in 2006 between the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children’s Museum – is an AAM-accredited non-profit educational organization located in Dallas’ Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The facility also includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The Museum of Nature & Science is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and HP. The Museum of Nature & Science also is building a new $185 million museum on a 4.7-acre site in Victory Park to complement the Fair Park facilities. To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science, please visit natureandscience.org.

Engineer Week “Ask an Engineer” Chats
11:30 a.m. daily in the MNS Science Building Viewspace Theater

Monday, February 20 – “Electronic and Software Engineering”
Paul Bouchier, Software Architect at Hewlett Packard Co.
Presented by the Dallas Personal Robotics Group

Paul Bouchier designed computer electronics for many years before becoming a software engineer. Learn about the joys (and the pains at times) of creating new products out of hardware and software. Paul will explain what engineers do and the various types of jobs available in computer engineering. Paul received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UT Dallas.

Tuesday, February 21 – “Nanotechnology, Biotechnology and the Engineer of Tomorrow”
Nandika D’Souza, Professor at the University of North Texas
Presented by the Society of Women Engineers

The engineer of tomorrow will work in a world of cross-disciplinary interactions that challenges the traditional approach of focusing on one narrow area for a lifetime. The rapid development of new technologies as well as concerns for the environment is energizing the creative spirits of engineers around the world. In this presentation, we will outline engineering challenges and focus on how the future generation of engineers can use its talents for the greater good of the economy and humanity.

Wednesday, February 22 – “Civil Engineering: Under Your Feet and Over Your Head”
Matt Ludwig, Municipal Civil Engineer at HDR Engineering
Presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers

Mr. Ludwig will discuss how civil engineering impacts your everyday life, from when you wake up in the morning until you ride home from school. He will talk about the many examples of civil engineering all around us and about the wide variety of civil engineering careers that are available.

Thursday, February 23 – “IBM Smarter Planet”
Tanya Bubash/Romelia Flores
Director, Global Solution Center/IBM Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor

Tanya Bubash studied Electrical Engineering and leads one of IBM’s top technical teams. She will share her business leadership insights based on her experiences. Romelia studied Computer Science and currently works at IBM designing and implementing Smart Planet application solutions. She will describe some of her recent client projects and her role as an IBM Distinguished Engineer.

Friday, February 24 – “Network Engineering”
Randal Robbins
Director, Network Planning & Design
Commercial Engineering
Time Warner Cable

Do you send email? Do you watch video on a mobile device? Do you place calls on your cell phone? If you answered yes to any of these, then a network engineer has helped you! Data networks play a critical role with our business and residential customers. Randal will explain the general functions of a network engineer and what other types of career opportunities are available in the field of engineering. He will also share information on the various types of networks used for business functions, carrier access and cell tower backhaul.

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