Wellmark gives children free admission to dinosaur exhibit

For immediate release January 19, 2007

 

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858
Andrea Smith, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 515-245-4862

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Museum announced today that Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is sponsoring free admission for children 12 and younger to visit “Hatching the Past: The Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt,” a new exhibit that opens Saturday.

“Hatching the Past” offers a rare and exciting look at the life of dinosaurs through their eggs, nests and embryos. The hands-on exhibit offers an array of authentic dinosaur eggs and nests collected from all over the globe – including those of each of the major plant- and meat-eating dinosaur groups. Admission to the exhibit is $5 per person, free for children 12 and younger, thanks to the generous support of Wellmark, and for State Historical Society of Iowa members. Due to the sensitive nature of the artifacts in Hatching the Past, children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult for admission into the exhibit. Tickets are available at the Iowa Museum Store in the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines’ Historic East Village. Admission to the museum remains free. Hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 515-281-5111 or visit www.iowahistory.org for more information.

“We are very grateful to Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for their support of this exciting new exhibit,” said Cyndi Pederson, Interim Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “As a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy, the State Historical Society records our history and educates the community about our past. This exhibit offers children a unique and different look at dinosaur ‘history.’ We are grateful for Wellmark’s financial support to underwrite the costs of children coming to experience the exhibit. Wellmark is providing children, regardless of their income level, the opportunity to experience dinosaur babies. Together, we hope to educate and inspire young minds throughout Iowa.”

“We try to support unique fundraising events in the community that also help to educate in a safe, fun, family-oriented environment,” said Andrea Smith, Senior Communications Consultant – Community Relations for Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “‘Hatching the Past’ is a wonderful example of a community event that the entire family can enjoy, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Although dinosaur eggs were first identified in the 1920s, their scientific significance was not fully appreciated until the end of the 20th century. Today, dinosaur eggs are recognized for their scientific value and for offering details and insights into the behavior, growth and evolution of dinosaurs.

“Hatching the Past” presents new findings about dinosaur reproduction and behavior and introduces some of the people and science behind the discoveries. The multi-media experience helps give credence to long debated theories that dinosaurs and birds are closely related.

A captivating experience for all ages, “Hatching the Past” invites visitors to see or touch more than 300 dinosaur bones and reconstructed nests – one more than eight feet in diameter – dig for eggs, experience hands-on exploration stations and view animated video presentations featuring dinosaur experts.

“Hatching the Past” was developed by Charlie and Florence Magovern of The Stone Company, Boulder, Colorado, in association with the Harvard Museum of Natural History. The Magoverns gained national recognition when their work was featured as the cover story in the May 1996 issue of National Geographic.

The State Historical Museum staff will offer a variety of programs in conjunction with the exhibit, including lectures and a book signing by world-renowned paleontologist Jack Horner March 30-31. Horner, who discovered his first dinosaur fossil at age 8, has made some of the most important recent dinosaur discoveries, written several books about his experiences and theories, and served as a technical adviser for Jurassic Park, The Lost World (Jurassic Park II) and Jurassic Park III, serving as partial inspiration for the movie’s lead character, Dr. Alan Grant. The museum will screen Jurassic Park March 31 at 4 p.m. with an introduction delivered by Horner. Visit www.iowahistory.org for more information.

Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. insure or pay health benefit claims for approximately two million individuals. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The State Historical Society of Iowa is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit www.iowahistory.org or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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