Science Museum of Minnesota Celebrates 100th Birthday

Photo courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota


Science Museum
Sciparty 2007

What a difference a century makes

Since 1907, Minnesotans have witnessed the invention of gas-powered automobiles, industrial robots, and cross-Atlantic flight. We’ve seen space travel, lifesaving advancements in medicine, and DNA fingerprinting. We’ve even welcomed inventions that seemed impossible 100 years ago: the Internet, communication satellites, even genetic sequencing or cloning.

And with each new invention, each crucial discovery, each innovation, the Science Museum of Minnesota has helped its visitors discover their ever-changing world through science.

Now it’s time to celebrate. The Science Museum is marking its 100th birthday with family-friendly activities, including the community-based “Diggin’ Dinos” initiative. From now through Labor Day, 60 dinosaurs are stomping back from extinction. They’ll hang out on the street corners of St. Paul and in the parks of Minneapolis, each telling its own unique story.


Photo by Aaron Smith / © 2007 Smitty’s Workshop

Instead of a coat of rough skin, these fiberglass dinosaurs are covered in colorful paint. Diggin’ Dinos is a collaboration between the Science Museum of Minnesota and Capital City Partnership, the same organization that introduced the Peanuts statues to St. Paul in 2000.

“We wanted to bring science outside into the community so everyone can share in the celebration,” says Liza Atkinson, special events coordinator with the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Over 200 artists submitted designs to the Diggin’ Dino sponsors, who then worked with their selected artist to decorate their Dino.

Photo by Aaron Smith
© 2007 Smitty’s Workshop

“We loved the variety of designs. They were all really innovative and unique,” Atkinson comments. 

Among this herd of high-gloss dinos, a few particularly stand out. The Minnesota Wild used hockey pucks as plates along their dinosaur’s back to create their “State of Hockeysaurus” design. “Mythasaurus,” by Atomic Props and Effects, resembles a fierce dragon, and “Dino X Rayasaurus” by Consulting Radiologists, replicates a dinosaur’s skeleton, complete with special glow-in-the-dark paint creating a spooky nighttime x-ray effect.

After Labor Day, sponsors may purchase the dinosaurs, or the Science Museum will auction them off to the highest bidder at a special event on Sept. 9.

“The response to Diggin’ Dinos has been really positive,” Atkinson says. “It’s especially fun to see kids and families posing with the dinos on our plaza, and I love hearing about folks from across the state who are vacationing in the Twin Cities, just to see the statues.”

Future paleontologists, families, and anyone interested in catching a glimpse of the once- extinct species can download a free “dino map” at, or simply grab a copy at the Museum.

Stomp into summer, Science Museum-style!