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“Tech the Halls!” Perot Museum of Nature and Science Celebrates the Season with a Reimagined Technology and Engineering Exhibit Hall, World-Exclusive Exhibition and More

From a completely updated engineering hall and technology-themed activities, to archaeology and robot camps, career exploration and a world-exclusive exhibition to boot, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will “tech the halls” this holiday season with fascinating fossils and fun.

After undergoing a major transformation made possible by the Texas Instruments Foundation, the Perot Museum’s popular Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall now boasts a 4,500-square-foot play space for tots, teens and techies of all ages to tinker. Newly unveiled exhibits (presented in English and Spanish) include a 1,400-square-foot ChallENGe Lab (where visitors can engage in 20-minute themed engineering challenges involving lunar craft “egg drop” moon landings and more); 23-foot “Amazing Airways” wind-tunnels that will wow children (and the young at heart); hands-on robot and circuit stations; and a massive music coding sequencer that activates a melodic LED display as guests create songs. Other highlights include the “North Texas Innovators Timeline” featuring regional engineering icons such as Ross Perot and Jack Kilby, a shrinking microchip exhibit, a facial recognition interactive, mechanical art installation and more.

“The Perot Museum is aglow this holiday season as we celebrate engineering, one of science’s most exciting and versatile fields. With the rapid advancement of technology, careers in STEM are more important than ever, and we’re absolutely thrilled to unveil our revamped Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall and its many engineering and technology-themed offerings designed to inspire young minds,” said Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum.

From Dec. 21-Jan. 6, 2020 (at select times), visitors can channel their inner-engineer for the holidays with “Tech the Halls” programming featuring augmented reality (AR) robot hockey, polar pulleys, coat designing, snowflake races and chats with paleontologists as they unearth Arctic dinosaur fossils.

Plus visitors can experience the Museum’s world-exclusive Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind exhibition showcasing the authentic fossils of two ancient human relatives – Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi – marking the first time that human relative fossils of two different species have ever been displayed together outside of Africa.

Other holiday highlights include sleepovers, fall and winter Discovery Camps, technology-based experiences and extended hours during the Thanksgiving and winter breaks (at select times) and more.

Here is a roundup of the holiday highlights:

WORLD EXCLUSIVE! ORIGINS: FOSSILS FROM THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND (through March 22, 2020). One venue. One time. Presented in English and Spanish, the 5,000-square-foot exhibition tells the stories of two amazing human ancestor discoveries: from a young boy’s stumbling upon the first specimen of Au. sediba, to the breathtaking journey of six female scientists – dubbed the “underground astronauts” – who excavated the bones of H. naledi from a deep and dangerously narrow cave complex in South Africa. Guests can come face-to-face with the real fossils – some as old as 1.97 million years – and even observe scientists from around the country “in action” as they study the excavated fossils in a glass-encased visiting scholars’ lab. A 7-inch “squeeze challenge” lets visitors step into the shoes of scientists who physically navigated the tiny spaces to excavate the bones of H. naledi found underground. In addition, a backyard-sized dig site – surrounded by African taxidermy animals – lets visitors of all ages get their hands dirty using simulated ground-penetrating technology that scientists rely upon for fossil exploration. The Perot Museum is partnering with the University of the Witwatersrand, the custodian of the fossils, and the National Geographic Society to showcase these fossils that are traveling outside South Africa for display for the first (and likely only) time. Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind is presented by Highland Capital Management and supported locally by the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District. Lockheed Martin is the Dig Site sponsor. A surcharge is required for members and non-members.

CHINESE MINERAL EXHIBIT (Dec. 11- Sept. 2020). A collection of colorful minerals from China will add sparkle to the season when it opens in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall Dec. 11. Marvel at these breathtaking specimens including a dragon-like aragonite, an otherworldly pyrite concretion, a foot-shaped azurite and malachite, a vibrant, multi-colored “corsage” of calcite and much more. 

TECH THE HALLSFrom Dec. 21-Jan. 6 (select dates and times), guests are encouraged to explore all things techy with themed activities involving augmented reality (AR) robot hockey, polar pulleys, coat designing, snowflake races and more, plus chats with paleontologists as they unearth Arctic dinosaur fossils. Check perotmuseum.orgfor the latest schedule.

. From archaeology career exploration and Discovery Camps to sleepovers and 3D films, there’s plenty at the Perot Museum to fill the calendar this holiday season.

A DAY IN THE LIFE: ARCHAEOLOGIST (Nov. 23, 2019). A fan of Indiana Jones? Ever dreamt of a career in archaeology? Teens and adults can delve deep into the field of archaeology exploring dig sites, navigating the stories left behind on rock art, investigating tools and methods used by archaeologists in a lab and more at A Day in the Life: Archaeologist on Nov. 23 at 8:30 a.m. Dr. Becca Peixotto, Director of the Museum’s Center for the Exploration of the Human Journey, will discuss her experience as an “underground astronaut” in the caves of South Africa and the groundbreaking discovery of the human relative Homo naledi species. Tickets – which include general admission and light refreshments – are $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Supported by the King family.

DISCOVERY CAMPS. From Nov. 25-27, pre-K through 4th graders can learn all about archaeology with three days of Discovery Camp as they hunt for fossils, decode and uncover long lost mysteries. In addition, winter Discovery Camps on Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2-3 will feature robot programming, challenges and races. Visit perotmuseum.org/camps for registration and details.

SLEEPOVERSOvernight adventures at the Perot Museum offer kids (ages 6-14) and their adult chaperones an opportunity to get after-hours access to all five levels of the Museum, enjoy a live science show, catch a 3D film and more. Sleepovers take place Nov. 22 (Bone Diggers Sleepover) and Jan. 4 (Wizarding Science Sleepover). Prices start at $45 per child and $30 per adult chaperone. Visit perotmuseum.org/sleepovers for details.

3D FILMS. Incredible canines, enchanted wildlife and colossal eruptions will captivate minds in The Hoglund Foundation Theater this holiday season. The lineup includes Superpower Dogs 3D and Wild Africa 3D (both through Jan. 5, 2020) and Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation (through March 6, 2020).To view trailers and film schedules, go to perotmuseum.org/theater. Films are presented locally by Primrose SchoolsVolcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation is sponsored by The Hockaday School.

HOURS. General hours of operation for the Perot Museum are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Holiday and other special hours. The Perot Museum will close Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving) and Dec. 25 (Christmas). The Museum will open at 9 a.m. Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 26-Jan. 5 except for Sunday, Dec. 29 and Jan. 5 when the Museum will open at 10 a.m. and Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) when the Museum will close at 3 p.m.

Member-only mornings. From 9-10 a.m. every Saturday and 10-11 a.m. every Sunday, members can enjoy exclusive access to the Perot Museum, plus member-only access to the Moody Family Children’s Museum on Mondays from 10 a.m.-noon. Also, holiday member-only mornings will be offered Nov. 29 and Dec. 26-Jan. 5.

Highland Capital Management is the 2019-2020 Premier Partner of the Perot Museum.

TICKETS. Museum general admission is $20 for adults (13-64), $13 for youth (2-12) and $18 for seniors (65+). Museum general admission is free for members. Children under 2 are always free. Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind requires a surcharge of $10 for adults (13-64) and seniors (65+), $8 for youth (2-12) and free for children under 2. Member tickets are $7 for all age levels. Tickets to Origins are timed entry and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To avoid sell outs, visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase advanced tickets at origins.perotmuseum.org.

The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas, Texas. Museum general admission is free for members. 

For ticket information, parking maps and other details visit perotmuseum.org or call 214-428-5555.

About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The top cultural attraction in Dallas/Fort Worth and a Michelin Green Guide three-star destination, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in the heart of Dallas, Texas. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to the Dallas Arts District. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through 11 permanent exhibit halls on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park museum has been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please visit perotmuseum.org

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