Museum of Nature & Science Celebrates Children's Museum and Dr. Seuss Birthdays

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Atmos Energy and "Cat in Hat" to Dedicate Fun, Hands-On Exhibits at Free Party for North Texas Children; Dallas Public Librarians to Read Books as Part of National "Read Across America Day"; Party Kicks Off Month-Long Activities at Children's Museum

"Did you ever fly a kite in bed? Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head? Did you ever milk this kind of cow? Well we can do it, we know how. If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good." (footnote 1) As we know from The Cat in the Hat kites indoors are bad. However, young kids at the Museum of Nature & Science's (MNS) Children's Museum can milk a cow and thanks to a generous donation by Atmos Energy, they can now also fly a hot air balloon indoors and blow warm air through a house - without upsetting mother.

As part of its month-long celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday (105) and the one-year birthday of the Children's Museum, MNS will throw a free party for an estimated over 800 hundred kids and their families at the Children's Museum from 10:00 a.m.--12:00 p.m. on March 2 with the Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss book readings by librarians from the Dallas Public Library in honor of national "Read Across America Day" and special activities for families and the media.

"We were delighted that so many families are coming to the celebration," said Nicole Small, CEO of the Museum of Nature & Science at Fair Park. "The great thing about being a museum is that at our parties, the kids get the gifts...for a long time. Atmos Energy's hot air balloon and energy dollhouse will help children understand unseen forces in the world around them in a playful, easy-to-understand way."

During the party, Bob Best, Chairman and CEO of Atmos Energy will dedicate several hands-on exhibits designed to teach children about energy and how it produces heat that causes balloons to float as well as keep us warm:

  •     Up, Up and Away! -- Come and Explore Your Sky is a hot air balloon that greets children as they come down the stairs to the Children's Museum. They ignite natural gas and fill the balloon with heated gas, lifting it 20' on a guide wire. When the air within the balloon cools, the balloon descends for the next child's turn.

In the Utility Company inside Explore Your Town:

  •     Energy Dollhouse -- Children turn faucets, fireplace keys, and light switches to illuminate the places in a house where natural gas and its services are used every day by families like theirs including hot water heaters, electricity and in fireplaces.
  •     Thermal Touch Panels - When children touch these panels, their body heat produces colorful patterns on the panel.
  •     Gas Tubes - How do you see the invisible? With these special gas tubes, Children can see different colors that represent spectral lines that tell scientists what kind of gas is in the tube. The gas glows when excited by electricity and each gas glows in a different color. This is the same technology that astrophycists use to distinguish gases in stars.
  •     Thermal Camera Display. Whew! Is it hot in here? Children can see their 'heat signature' on a flat screen mounted on the wall in the Utility Company area. Red is hot, blue is cool. This teaches them about the heat created by their own bodies.

"Read Across America" is a national day of reading sponsored by the National Education Association. Communities are encouraged to sponsor reading events on March 2. At the Children's Museum birthday, six librarians from the Dallas Public Library System will read Dr. Seuss books to children. The Dallas Public Library bookmobile will also be present to encourage kids to check out books from the library and continue reading at home.

Other sponsors who have made the Children's Museum possible include: Green Mountain Energy Company; Hawn Foundation, Inc.; Hillcrest Foundation; M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation; PB Americas; Barbara and Stan Rabin; and the Harold Simmons Foundation.
The birthday celebration will continue all month long at the Children's Museum with "Hand in Hand" on the following Wednesday's through March:

  • March 4 "Hilarious Hat Day" - Kids are invited to wear their most hilarious hat to story time and hear "The Cat in the Hat." In addition, they will create a special Dr. Seuss hat to wear home.
  • March 11 "It's Easy Being Green" -- "Green Eggs and Ham" will be read and there will be plenty of "Seussical" crafts to explore the color green.
  • March 18 NO HAND IN HAND due to Spring Break
  • March 25 "Rhyme Time" - Children will hear the wonderful nonsense rhymes of "Hop on Pop."

These programs are free to MNS members and included in the general admission cost for non-members.

Admission to the party on March 2 is free to all until noon. The Children's Museum at MNS is located on the lower level of the Science Building at 1318 S. Second Ave. Dallas, TX 75210. All MNS buildings are open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission for MNS members is free; adults $8.75, children 3 to 11 $5.50, youth 12 to 18, seniors 62 and over, and students 18 and over with an ID $7.75. IMAX tickets are additional. For information call 214-428-5555 or visit http://www.natureandscience.org. Media will find pictures at: http://www.tinyurl.com/CMbirthday.

About the Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum of Nature & Science, formerly the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum, is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas' Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, MNS delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition and research and collections programming for students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The MNS campus includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The museum is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and EDS. To learn more visit http://www.natureandscience.org.

About Atmos Energy
Atmos Energy is the country's largest natural-gas-only distributor. Its utility operations serve 3.2 million gas customers in 12 states. About 60 percent of its utility customers are in Texas, and Dallas-Fort Worth is its largest metro area. Its nonutility operations include gas marketing, pipeline, gathering and storage operations serving industrial customers, municipalities and producers in 22 states.

(1) With thanks to Dr. Seuss' "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" pp. 50-51, Published by Beginner Books, a division of Random House. Copyright 1960 and 1988.

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Cynthia Stine
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