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Moving Science into the Spotlight
Pack Place changes present the Colburn Earth Sciences Museum a springboard to expand its presence and impact. With this unique opportunity the Colburn becomes the Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) in order to grow as science museum that to meet educational expectations of our region’s children, families, students, educators, local businesses, and tourists.
Our new AMOS home will be the Wells Fargo building on the corner of Patton Avenue and Church Street in the heart of downtown Asheville. To make this transition, and to do so in a sustainable, responsible manner, we have identified a goal of $1,300,000 to affect the move, to provide for proper renovations and up fit the new space, to acquire and expand exhibits, and for the rollout of operations.
In its new home, AMOS will enjoy a highly visible presence with street-front entrance and windows. The 8,000 square feet of space will house exciting exhibits, classrooms, offices, storage, and an expanded gift shop to increase sales revenue. In its new home, AMOS will increase attendance and public engagement and will reinforce the vibrant character of downtown Asheville and the region.
Last year, the Colburn provided education and museum services for over 23,000 Buncombe County residents and more than 11,000 out of county visitors. We provided 27,491 hours of North Carolina Standards-based science education to more than 9,365 school students from 14 WNC counties. Looking to the future, 62% of currently available NC jobs require STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills that only 21% of NC graduating students possess. (NC recently ranked 36th nationally
in science proficiency.) AMOS will offer early exposure to STEM that supports children’s overall academic growth, develops early critical thinking and reasoning skills, and enhances potential interest in STEM study and careers.
Staying true to its Colburn roots, AMOS will utilize the chance to expand from earth sciences into a broader science museum by adding programming and exhibits that incorporate biology and botany (animal and plant life), 21st century STEM skills, technology, and the humanities into the earth science disciplines of meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy.
This move will also open up the potential for collaborations with the Collider, also located in the Well Fargo Building, and its focus on integrating business development and climate data studies. The AMOS dedication to science literacy and education plus environmental regional history suggests exciting possibilities for partnerships with many other local
organizations as well.
The expansive new space and premiere location on the front porch of Asheville will permit AMOS to realize its mission of becoming an outstanding general science museum that provides western North Carolina with top-notch science exploration opportunities for years to come.
“Science literacy is a key to the future—preserving our planet, realizing human potential, advancing the nation, developing the mind, generating jobs. In Asheville and WNC, we are blessed to have The Colburn / AMOS leaders to seed science curiosity, grow science literacy, and enlighten the mind. The AMOS move to the highly visible Callen Center portends expanded impact and learning opportunities for all.”
David G. Brown, UNC Asheville Chancellor 1984-1990