By Philip Straub
Science Communications Intern
July 9, 2010
Improving access to quality science education in the Four Corners has been the purpose of the Durango Discovery Museum (DDM) for nearly two decades. The approaching grand opening of the new DDM multi-purpose learning and event space, The Carlton Family Science Education Center (“The Ed”), presents Durango with a new educational resource.
The Ed opens its doors at 1333 Camino Del Rio on Wednesday, July 21, at 7 p.m., with a special presentation on solar fuels for the 21st Century. Speaking at the Ed will be special guest lecturer, Yale University Professor, Dr. Victor Batista. As the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemistry at Yale, Batista is particularly dedicated to science education.
His talk, “Following Nature's Blueprint: Mimicking photosynthesis to fuel the planet,” will describe significant new approaches to developing alternative energy.
A member of the Yale Solar Group, the University’s alternative energy research organization, Batista will present the latest breakthroughs on imitating the photosynthetic value of plants – their ability to produce energy from sunlight and water. Their recent discovery of a catalyst to split water brings the dream of achieving sustainable photovoltaic power ever closer.
DDM is pleased to unveil the Ed, located at the site of the historic power plant, with a presentation on the future of energy. This lecture is in collaboration with the Telluride Science Research Center (TSRC), with which Batista is affiliated.
“The whole story of power innovation in America starts here,” says Claire Bradshaw, DDM Executive Director, about the historic AC power plant, which made Durango a Silicon Valley of the late 19th Century. “And we’re still leading in this area: biodiesel, solar—soon we’ll have electric car chargers on Main Street. We’ll be giving people an inside look at this stuff.”
Durango’s old AC power-generating station is being renovated and repurposed into the Durango Discovery Museum to showcase energy—past, present, and future. The museum is on course to open its doors to the public in October, but will offer hands-on science programs in the Ed until then.
Dessert and drink pairings are included in this fundraising event. Tickets to the grand opening are $75. Tickets can be purchased athttp://tinyurl.com/EDopening or by calling (970)-259-9234. For more information on the DDM's offerings and projects, visit www.durangodiscovery.org.
About the Discovery Museum
The Durango Discovery Museum, opening October 14, 2010 at the Powerhouse, will be a unique interactive museum where visitors can explore science and energy topics of all kinds. Phase II plans include remodeling the two buildings currently on the 1333 Camino del Rio site and creating a river-facing public plaza around the existing smokestack, all to accommodate an interactive science center, labs, workshops, event space, and offices. Housed in the country’s oldest surviving coal-fired, steam-generated AC power plant, the museum's interactive discovery and science exhibits promise to “spark curiosity, ignite imagination, power exploration.”
Haz M Saïd
marketing + communications
Durango Discovery Museum
1333 Camino Del Rio, Durango, CO 81301