Science museum

MOSAC Sacramento River Science Museum opens to the public

The SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity, an interactive and exploratory STEM celebration in the River District of Sacramento, has finally opened its doors.

State and city government leaders named the state-of-the-art center, also known as MOSAC, in a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday morning, a day before it officially opened.

“As I stand here, I look around and here are the voices I hear: ‘I want to be an astronaut,’” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “I want to be an inventor. I want to be a doctor. I want to be a scientist. I want to fix the planet.

Steinberg and others have spoken of the importance of generating scientific interest, especially as the world faces a climate crisis and remains rooted in a pandemic.

“We need to train future innovators who will help solve these problems,” said Michele Wong, executive director of the museum. “Not just things like the pandemic and climate change, but how to feed the world. How to do things in a more sustainable way.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District announced earlier this year its intention to move to zero carbon status by 2030. CEO Paul Lau said MOSAC is the first building to which SMUD has attached its name, other than one of its own. , and that he couldn’t think of anything more fitting than a science museum to be the first.

“Science and curiosity have taken a bit of a beating lately,” said Rob Kerth, SMUD board member. “And it’s time to start a next round to remind people how desperately we need science and curiosity as time goes on.”

Wong announced Friday that MOSAC has applied for LEED Platinum certification, the highest accreditation granted for sustainable construction by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The $ 83 million museum is a public-private partnership between the city, state, county education office, Powerhouse Science Center, and SMUD, which secured naming rights in 2020.

UC Davis, another partner, will work closely on exhibitions and educational courses. The university also has naming rights to the museum’s 120-seat UC Davis Multiverse theater and will name a planned health gallery featuring exhibits focused on technology in medicine.

Stakeholders also highlighted that MOSAC is an important step in revitalizing Sacramento’s riverside and nearby downtown train station areas, helping it to become a more attractive economic hub.

“This will be the gem of the region,” said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.

The new museum replaces the much smaller science center on Auburn Boulevard near the now closed Del Paso Regional Park.

Local leaders also hailed MOSAC as a testament to perseverance. Steinberg noted that plans for the museum had been in the works since about 2005, more than a decade before his tenure as mayor.

The concept persisted during the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic to become a reality. The MOSAC building itself has been converted from a former power station built in 1912 and unoccupied for over half a century. The museum was designed by Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture and built by Otto Construction of Sacramento.

The 50,000 square foot exploratorium-style museum features upstairs and downstairs galleries housing interactive exhibits, each focusing on one area of ​​science or technology. The fields include innovations in health, nature, water, energy and climate, space exploration and astronomy, robotics and engineering.

Wong told The Bee that her favorite exhibit was an exhibit for young children called “Nature Detectives,” an interactive gallery featuring living creatures, including a beehive.

“It’s just about exploring – using all of your five senses to explore the world around you.”

If you are going to

General admission tickets range from $ 12 for children to $ 15 for adults and are available on

MOSAC uses a timed ticket office and has a limited capacity. The museum therefore recommends that customers reserve their tickets in advance.

MOSAC is open to the general public every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

This story was originally published November 12, 2021 4:00 p.m.

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Michael McGough heads the Sacramento Bee Breaking News reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A native of Sacramento and a longtime resident of the capital, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a journalism degree.