Science Center of Iowa Opens New Exhibit: Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Science Center of Iowa has a brand new exhibit called Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family.

The exhibit started in the Australian Museum and is making it’s U.S. Premiere Friday.

Science Center of Iowa’s Director of Exhibits Allison Schwanebeck said the exhibit is fun for all ages and has a lot of interactive features.

“The exhibit looks at the entire family of tyrannosaurs. We are all really familiar with our T-Rex, some people may know a Barosaurus, those are a little more familiar. But this exhibit shows the entire range of the family from teeny tiny to huge,” Schwanebeck said.

One of the things that is unique about the exhibit is the mixture of artifacts and technology combined.

“It’s prehistory and high-tech mashed up together. We have our casts of our tyrannosaurs but then we also have high tech animations, augmented reality and a projection tunnel where you can run along with the dinosaurs,” Schwanebeck said.

She added, tyrannosaurs come in all shapes and sizes and have a 100-million-year history that you can learn about and explore at the science center.

The T-Rex skeleton they have in the exhibit is named Scotty and was found in Canada.

“He’s one of the most complete we’ve had here. Not quite as complete as Sue, which we had here a couple of years ago,” Schwanebeck said.

There is a also an interactive dig pit where you can uncover fossils and practice some paleontology skills.

In addition to interactive technology and a dig pit there is a lot of programming surrounding the exhibit.

  • IMAX documentary: Dinosaurs Alive! Details at
  • Toddler Dig: Every Wednesday throughout the run of the exhibit, the dig pit will be reserved for toddlers from 10:00-10:30 am.
  • Pint Size Science & Pint Size Science: Toddler Edition: This program for young explorers will feature dinosaur-themed topics in October (Dino Bites) and March (“Chomposaurus”). Pint Size Science classes are designed for children ages 4-6, and the Toddler Edition classes are for children ages 22 months-3 years. Registration information available at
  • Jr. Paleontologist: SCI is recruiting a team of 2nd-5th graders to share their love of dinosaurs. Participants will work with SCI’s Programs Team to develop and deliver hands-on demos to the public. Two cohorts will begin in November and February. Details at
  • Winter Camps: SCI Winter Camps for grades Pre-K through 8th grade will offer dinosaur-themed experiences during day camps on December 27, 28, 29 and January 2. Details at
  • Mixology Night: SCI’s monthly 21 plus night features combines music, science and adult beverages on the first Friday of every month. The event on October 6 is titled “Prehistoric Happy Hour” and will feature a presentation by University of Iowa professor Christopher A. Brochu. Tickets to Mixology Night are $7 per person; free for SCI members. Details at
  • Café Scientifique: Held on the second Tuesday of each month, Café Scientifique events engage adult and young adult audiences. Events in October and November will feature Iowa paleontologists. Details at

The science center is open for free on Friday, September 29 from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.