FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The doors to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History have been closed to visitors since the end of 2020, due to the pandemic. But now that pandemic-related restrictions are easing, the museum is reopening on Friday, June 25.

It’s a day that Dr. Doug Roberts, Chief Public Engagement Officer for the museum, has been long awaiting.

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“While we have been closed, it has been a little depressing to not hear the sound of children’s voices just right outside my door,” Roberts explains.

In fact, it has been more than six months since the museum has seen visitors of any age, and the museum has put that time to good use.

“We have taken all this time to do a fairly large renovation,” he says.

When guests return in person, they will still find some of their favorite exhibits, but there are also new hands-on and interactive exhibits.

“We are going back to the way the museum was, and use to be, which was hands on,” Roberts says.

“We are focused on encouraging interactivity and inquiry-based learning, which was hard in the past, during the pandemic, when we would say, ‘Hey don’t touch things.’”

Now, guests are encouraged to touch, interact, and learn without any restrictions, including inside the “Current Science Studio,” a new exhibit Dr. Morgan Rehnberg, Chief Scientist for the museum, says was funded by a partnership with Facebook.

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“This is science on a sphere, and it is one of the brand-new components in our science studio that lets us explore not just planet earth but the whole universe in a 3D way,” Rehnberg says.

From Earth, to Mercury, to Mars, gusts can see the solar system come to life in vivid colors right before their eyes.

“All of these views are created by real data coming back from NASA space craft,” Rehnberg says. “So, we will be able to update what is on this sphere in real time to reflect new things that are happening in the world of science.”

The new exhibit is part the museum’s effort to create fully digital and interactive exhibits that allow the museum staff to update information at the flip of a switch.

“So, in August, we might be talking about hurricanes because it will be the start of hurricane season. And if a wildfire were to break out, we could press a button and talk about the science of wildfires,” Rehnberg explains. “We want to make a space that is totally connected to the science behind the news we all experience every day.”

Brining a museum that already had plenty of magical moments, into an evolving new chapter.

“It’s a bit of the past, a bit of the future, and we can’t wait to welcome you back,” Roberts says.

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has announced its summer hours of operation will be Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

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The museum will be closed Monday through Thursday each week.

Madison Sawyer