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Whiteville—The newly renovated North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville will be unveiled to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, February 28, at 10 a.m. The space has been repurposed into a dynamic indoor-outdoor nature and science learning center and features new exhibits, an investigate lab, nature exploration center, an outdoor nature play space, and a distance learning classroom.

Program features:
· Jennifer Holcomb, President, Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

· Mayor Terry Mann, Mayor of Whiteville

· Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

· Alan Faulk, Superintendent, Columbus County Schools

· Charles “Kenny” Garland, Superintendent, Whiteville City Schools

· Andy Anderson, Board Member, Friends of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville

· Elise Belmont, Whiteville Play Group

· Students representing the Whiteville City Schools and Columbus County schools will cut the “ribbon”—which will be a local muscadine grapevine collected from a farm in Tabor City, NC

Music provided by the West Columbus High School Jazz Band

All participants will be available for interviews. Photo opportunities include:
· Students from Whiteville City and Columbus County Schools cutting the “ribbon.”

· Local leaders addressing the audience.

· Children and families interacting with the new science learning spaces.

· Post a selfie with a Postosuchus, a centerpiece exhibit. At more than 200 million years old, the Postosuchus species is older than most dinosaurs. The Postosuchus on exhibit is modeled on a specimen that UNC-Chapel Hill students discovered in a quarry in Durham County, NC, in 1994. It took UNC students, faculty, and other researchers two decades to create and articulate the full skeletal model for display.

· Programs throughout the day including: story times, investigate lab programs, natural specimen identification activity, Nature Play Space activities and nature crafts, distance learning mini-programs.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at Whiteville is located at 415 South Madison St., downtown Whiteville. Based in Columbus County, it serves the southeastern region of North Carolina and is an extension of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The most visited museum in the state and an active research institution, the Museum in Raleigh engages visitors of every age and stage of learning about the wonders of science and the natural world, and introduces them to intriguing fields of study that are critical to the future of North Carolina.

Plan your visit online at www.naturalsciences.org. Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director; Donald R. van der Vaart, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Pat McCrory, Governor.

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