News Room

Museum of Life and Science Opens Its Biggest Exhibit in Years: Earth Moves

For Immediate Release – September 17, 2019 | 5 pm

Media Contact:

Matt Pusateri, Senior Director of Marketing
(919) 220-5429 x390 |


A boy leaping at Earth Moves

DURHAM, NC – On Wednesday, the Museum of Life and Science in Durham unveils its biggest new exhibit in years: Earth Moves. This one-of-a-kind outdoor experience invites visitors to discover how human and natural forces shape the Earth’s surface.

“One thing that’s hard for all of us to grasp is that the Earth is ever-changing. Rocks turn into smaller rocks that turn into sand. There’s always movement, even though it’s slow, even imperceptible. We want to teach everybody — the families, the kids — that the Earth is always moving, always changing,” said Barry Van Deman, President and CEO of the Museum. “This new exhibit helps visitors think about that in ways that they won’t find anywhere else.”

Earth Moves offers activities for visitors of all ages and abilities. Guests can explore a sandstone cave formation, splash underneath a 20-foot-tall waterfall and change how it flows, build stacks, arches, and walls with stones, create art with rocks, and shift the flow of a stream, then discover how it reacts. Visitors can also just sit, relax, and enjoy the trees, sculptures, and sounds of falling water.

“Instead of thinking about geology or the geosciences as something that needs to be contained inside an interior space, we turn that on its head,” said Michele Kloda, Director of Learning Environments at the Museum. “We've created a space where visitors can come and experience geology and the geosciences in an authentic way.”

The Museum encourages guests to explore, move around, dig with their hands, and interact with flowing water. As a result, Earth Moves is a place where visitors can get messy. So the Museum suggests that visitors bring a change of clothes, especially during warm weather visits. There’s a changing area and a foot wash to make clean up easier.

While Earth Moves is designed for visitors of all ages, some areas are more suitable for younger learners up to six years old, while other areas offer more challenging experiences for ages seven and up.

The exhibit was also designed to be fully accessible. The outdoor pathways and surfaces are hardened and gently sloped, providing access throughout the entire exhibit. Visitors using wheeled devices (walkers, wheelchairs, strollers) will find the surfaces variable, comfortable and beautiful. The pathway behind the waterfall is accessible. All of the tabletop experiences are built for accessibility.

“Earth materials are essential to our modern world. They power our cell phones, form the lenses in our glasses, and make the concrete that builds our buildings and bridges. So geology is something that touches our lives every day,” Kloda said, “and we hope to bring that to the forefront for our visitors at Earth Moves.”


About the Museum of Life and Science

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina's top family destinations. Its mission is to create a place where people — from young children to older adults — embrace science as a way of understanding themselves, their community, and their world. Situated on 84-acres, the immersive environment of this outdoor science park and two-story science center inspires curiosity, the capacity for scientific thinking, and the desire for lifetime learning. The Museum is proud to be an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. To learn more, visit



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