When my kids were little, one of our favorite places to visit was the local science museum. It was a small place, geared to younger children but large enough to keep them occupied for nearly a whole day.
That museum’s name was changed to the Children’s Museum and now that my kids are older, we have a shiny new facility to explore, the Connecticut Science Center. Opened in June 2009, the center has one hundred and fifty hands-on exhibits, a 3D digital theater, four educational labs and daily events for children and adults.
It’s also one of the greenest science museums ever built. It’s the first museum or science center in the nation to use a fuel cell for the majority of its on-site power. On Tuesday, April 26, the Science Center will be designated a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certified “green” building.
Ninety-five percent of the steel used to construct the center was manufactured from recycled cars, seventy-five percent of the construction waste was recycled back to the manufacturing process, and forty-eight percent of the building’s eye-catching exterior is comprised of special energy saving glass, according to the center’s website
And then there’s the fuel cell. During daytime hours, the cell generates two-thirds of the operating power needed for the facility and then during off hours, the cell transfers energy back into the power grid system.
All this week, the center has been celebrating school vacation week as Earth Week with special environmental activities. The celebration will conclude on Tuesday with the LEED certification, a keynote address and a “Green” walking tour of the center, showcasing the environmental-friendly features.
And my kids have been looking over my shoulder as I write all this, so I suspect we’re going to have to take our own tour soon.