McFeely: the science museum, an opportunity to dream a little and grow Fargo-Moorhead – InForum
FARGO — Dream a little with me, Fargo-Moorhead.
Imagine a beautiful new $50 million science museum somewhere in our growing metro. Maybe it overlooks the Red River somewhere in Fargo. It may be by the river in Moorhead, on the site of the shopping centre. Maybe it’s at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds.
At this point, location doesn’t matter.
The idea is to imagine a world-class museum somewhere in our community, where children and adults – who live locally or in cities across the region – can interactively learn about the impact that science, technology and engineering have on their lives.
This could attract visitors to our cities. It could be a teaching tool for school children. This could boost the local economy.
I recently had coffee with Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum Chairman of the Board, Ken Brazerol. It filled my head with possibilities for the museum.
The wheels are already in motion, as you read in The Forum. The Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum already has a board of trustees and recently received about $1.3 million in donations as start-up funds. Aldeveron co-founder and chief scientific officer John Ballantyne donated $1 million.
The museum’s board is using the money to hire an executive director, conduct a feasibility study, and set up a traveling science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) van for community outreach. . He hired JLG Architects to put some ideas on paper. What’s needed?
Perhaps a better way to put it: what are the possibilities?
It can be an attraction, a destination, for those who come to Fargo-Moorhead for business, meetings and conventions. Or sports tournaments. Or for those passing through en route to the future Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora.
The exhibits are fun to imagine.
Do you think that agriculture, which remains by far the biggest economic driver in this region, is just a bunch of rural people playing in the mud? Every aspect of agriculture depends on science and technology, starting with seed genetics and soil health.
Under construction west of the subway is the FM Diversion, a massive project to reroute the Red River during times of severe flooding. It is a remarkable feat of engineering, necessitated by the unique topography, geology and hydrology of the Red River Valley.
Fargo-Moorhead is a thriving technology and healthcare center with a land-grant university to augment these industries. North Dakota State University, Aldeveron, Microsoft, Sanford, Essentia are all major science players. They do things that have a global impact.
Speaking of NDSU, modern athletics is heavily dependent on science and technology. From nutrition to training to performance optimization, the tools that athletes, coaches and coaches use today are remarkable.
All are potential interactive exhibits for a science museum in Fargo-Moorhead.
Give me a science museum. (And a performing arts center. And NDSU athletics at the FBS level.)
It will take money, and lots of it. This community has it.
Let’s dream a little. Dream bigger. I can’t wait to see the progress of the science museum.