Backers hope Omaha’s new riverfront science museum will inspire future scientists and engineers | Local News

While the project will join the ranks of what are generically known as science museums, Heritage officials like to refer to the new facility as a “science center” because its exhibits won’t be static. Instead, they’ll be designed to be hands-on and interactive and feature the latest technology.

Most science museums around the country have followed this trend, often referring to themselves as science centers or discovery centers, with missions to unlock curiosity and make science accessible to all.

To help ensure that the Omaha center does rank with the country’s best, Heritage has partnered with one of the nation’s premier science museums to develop the center’s exhibits and programming.

San Francisco’s Exploratorium, along the waterfront in the heart of that city, is routinely ranked among the nation’s top handful of science museums. Exploratorium officials currently working on exhibits for the Omaha center say they will be state of the art while also reflecting the unique culture and history of Omaha and the region.

“It’s going to be incredible,” said Rachel Jacobson, president of Heritage Services.

The new science center does not yet have a formal name, but “Kiewit” will definitely be a part of it.

The Omaha construction company is making a “very significant” donation for the project, Jacobson said, and will also serve as the construction contractor. In addition, several charitable foundations with Kiewit ties are making sizable donations for the project, including Omaha’s Peter Kiewit Foundation, the family foundation of former Kiewit Chairman Walter Scott Jr. and Grewcock’s family foundation.

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