From looking at exhibits in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, it appears that the state of Texas was established and grew on the industries of cattle ranching and energy discovery. The museum encompasses three areas – a 2D IMAX theatre, the Cattle Raisers Museum, and the Noble Planetarium, in addition to a more generalized area about Texas history and science .
After passing the Admissions Desk, there is a welcoming stairway on the left to the 2nd floor. On that floor, immediately to the left of the staircase is the Noble Planetarium while to the right is The Cattle Raisers Museum.
The Cattle Raisers Museum begins with a full size diorama of cattle passing in a line next to the spectator. It winds to the left to an separate entrance to the planetarium where a production is shown on the overhead dome about night time on the range. The entertaining production ends with a thundering herd of cattle racing across the screen. Outside the theater a large collection of branding irons is displayed and discussed via video. A display of spurs is also located there. Next is a video theater production of cattle drives in the old West and of the difference in transportation of cattle then and now. Throughout the area are interspersed placards and displays of memorabilia about the men that were instrumental in the formation of the cattle industry.
On the ground floor underneath The Cattle Raisers Museum is the Stars Café which is open for lunch. Restrooms are also located in this area.
Across the foyer from the staircase is a wing of exhibition rooms and a gift shop. The first exhibition room is geared towards young people. One of the featured exhibits i s a tornado machine – where you can see a tornado forming and interact enough to disrupt the activity of the tornado . There are five glass enclosed classrooms that are named Inventor, Doodler, Designer, Imaginer, and Explorer. The names define the activities that go on in each.
Next on that side of the corridor is the Fort Worth Children’s Museum. This museum is designed for children up through the age of 8.
The large gift shop is located on the opposite side of the corridor. Behind the gift shop is The Dino Dig. It is an outdoors area that has large boulders formed on the ground and an area of sandy soil that is about 30 feet by 30 feet. There are implements near the dig area that can be used to uncover dinosaur bones that are just below the surface of the sandy soil. Once the bones are discovered and the urge to dig has been fulfilled, an attendant rakes the surface and covers the bones with the soil for the next group of explorers.
Next in line is the Energy Blast – perhaps the most impressive of the exhibits. It is a 3D presentation with motion seats and other theatrical special effects. T he theater is small and seats only 40. The subject of the presentation is the millions of years from the big bang that started the formation of our solar system to the present day efforts to extract natural gas from the earth. Children in the audience usually become excited and boisterous during the presentation. Adjacent to the theater is a display of the activity of natural gas discovery and retrieval. One of those is a small diorama where five separate control panels show the how power is generated through the use of various mechanisms (coal, wind, nuclear, etc.) and then powers parts of the diorama.
Up a small stairway is where the IMAX theater is located. There are multiple features showing which currently includes “The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug “, as well as shorter subject such as “Flying Monsters”, a fantasy film about what might have been .
There is an admission charge to both the museum and separately to the IMAX theater . Further information about those charges and the museum hours can be found at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.