The hallmarks of a state or country are what cause it to be an attractive place to live. The more attractions a state has that cater to various interests people may have the greater chance it has to be a viable tourism location and cultural center. The state of New Jersey is home to a variety of cultural venues that attract visitors from many places, both locally and nationally. The sandy beaches and picturesque boardwalks of the Jersey Shore offer a retreat from the summer heat. The Meadowlands are home to sports teams such as the New York Jets, Giants and Red Bulls. New Jersey is also the setting for many museums that educate the population on many different topics.
Museums Benefit the People
A museum is ‘an institution that houses and cares for a collection of artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, or historical importance and makes them available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary.’ The benefits of museums are that they serve to broaden the scope of knowledge for visitors. Museums are important cultural landmarks that are forms of entertainment and education and blend these two aspects beautifully. New Jersey is home to many museums including the Newark Museum, Princeton University Art Museum and the Grounds for Sculpture. These museums, however, focus more strongly on the arts than the sciences. The chief science museum in the state of New Jersey is the Liberty Science Center.
Liberty Science Center History
The Liberty Science Center is a science museum that is located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. It was founded in 1993 as the first science museum in the state of New Jersey founded as a public enterprise. It is a relatively new museum when compared to other institutions that have its size, breadth and scope of exhibits. The museum underwent a tremendous expansion that was completed on July 19, 2007. This expansion cost $109 million, took twenty-two months to complete, and expanded the facility by 100,000 square feet, bringing the total square footage to 300,000 square feet.
Exhibits at the Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center, in its short time of existence, has expanded to house a large number of exhibits. It is home to the largest IMAX Dome Theater in the entire United States of America. Other exhibits at the Science Center include:
- Skyscraper! Achievement and Impact - This is the largest exhibition on skyscrapers in the world and features artifacts from the World Trade Center, a two-story tall walk along an I-Beam among many other things.
- Eat and Be Eaten – This exhibit demonstrates the relationships between predators and prey, displaying various animals like vipers and puffer fish to show how they hunt their prey and evade being prey themselves.
- Wildlife Challenge – This interactive exhibit simulates the environments where animals live and allows people a chance to explore their habitats in action.
- Communication – This demonstrates the many ways in which people communicate including body and language, symbols, writing, and speech.