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The Institute’s newest educational exhibition and experience space, exploreLAB, offers themed, hands-on activities, objects from the Institute’s collections, changing installations, and rotating experiences create a learning and exploration environment unlike any other. Both public and field trip programming are available.

exploreLAB kicks off with an immersion into the world of dinosaurs: discovering them like a paleontologist would and learning about what it takes to reveal a dinosaur. The overall experience is separated into two sections:

  • The Dino Dig: A floor level installation, designed for children of all ages, where they will use paleontological tools to dig through model fossil beds representing the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, brushing away millions of years of sediments to expose real dinosaur casts. 
  • The Paleo Portal: A lab and exploration setting geared toward elementary school age and above, and those who want a more in-depth experience into the topic. Visitors will observe dinosaur fossils in rock and the ongoing process for their conservation, exposure and removal, and preparation of the asteroid fall out layer linked to the extinction of terrestrial dinosaurs.  

Additionally, Paleo Portal visitors will have the opportunity to prepare and extract their own take-away fossils from the Mid-Devonian bedrock from Michigan and Ohio that are 400 million years old, when this region was covered with shallow tropical seas and coral reefs.

Programming in exploreLAB is offered throughout the year on Saturday and Sunday, and at specials times during school breaks.