Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum to receive $1.2 million in donations to advance efforts

The group is also focusing on raising even more funds for the museum and choosing a location.

If a person had visited Fargo-Moorhead during the Pleistocene Epoch which lasted from more than 2 million years ago up to about 11,700 years ago a person might be standing on a vast sheet of flowing ice, seen in background, that was slowly bulldozing its way across the surface and creating the landscape or this area today. A proposed ice sheet exhibit at the proposed science museum will help guests visualize how the metro would compare to this vast wall of ice.
Artist rendition / Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum

FARGO — A private local organization has given $225,000 to the Fargo-Moorhead Science Museum effort providing the first big boost in its efforts to develop the facility.

The organization wanted to remain anonymous, but FMSM Board President Ken Brazerol said the funds will enable the project to begin the search for an executive director and launch the planning phase for a campaign to raise funds to develop the facility.

On top of that, he said the group is planning to announce an even bigger gift next week of $1 million that will allow for more advancements in the effort. He said the name of that donor will be public.

Brazerol, who works for the digital mapping company called Here Technologies of Chicago, said the executive director will provide day-to-day leadership and coordination as planning moves forward.

The group is also focusing on raising even more funds for the museum and choosing a location.


Brazerol said they have had "great conversations" with the cities about possible locations.

Options include retrofitting an existing building or designing and constructing a new structure. The group is working with JLG Architects on a site analysis as they said they want "to get it right the first time."

The museum would be a place for children and adults to explore and engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, collectively known as STEM. The goal is to feature hands-on interactive exhibits and programs that promote science literacy.

Topics featured would look at the region's natural history from ice-age fossils to glacial Lake Agassiz to Red River Valley soils. A mobile outreach unit or classroom is also a hope of the group.

"I think this museum will be a great addition to the community," Brazerol said.

"It'll be a great place for families to go in the winter," he said as the temperatures dipped well below zero this past week.

The FMSM board, besides Brazerol, includes several North Dakota State University instructors who Brazerol believes will bring some "real expertise" to the operation. They include museum founder, past president and geology lecturer Jessie Rock, chairman of the Department of Geosciences and associate professor Stephanie Day and professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and STEM Education Doctorate Director Jenni Momsen.

Other board members are marketing manager for Butler Machinery Co. Jodi Phillips, New Leaf Hospitality executive Bobbi Bricker and Wheeler McCartney real estate law firm manager Gwen McCartney.

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