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Bell Museum of Natural History Increases Admission Charge

The University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History is increasing its admission fees effective September 1, 2011. The small increase will fund additional student museum guide positions at the museum. The price of admission will increase from $5 to $6 for adults, and from $3 to $4 for children from 3 to 17 and for seniors 62 and older. Children under three, museum members, and University of Minnesota employees and current students will continue to receive free admission. The price increase is the museum’s first since 2003.

Student employees serve as natural history interpreters who teach science to guests of all ages on tours, as well as to visitors who explore the insects, reptiles and amphibians found in the museum’s Touch and See Room. Undergraduates also serve as instructors for the museum’s summer youth camps.

The museum’s ability to fund student positions has decreased in recent years due to reductions in state funding and higher wage rates for student workers. The modest admission increase will pay for approximately ten additional part-time student positions.

“Providing opportunities for undergraduates to acquire skills as educators is central to our mission,” says Susan Weller, director of the Bell Museum. “The students gain valuable, career-building experience right on campus.”

The Bell Museum is committed to being accessible and to educating all Minnesotans, as mandated by its 1872 state charter. The museum will continue to be free to the public every Sunday from noon to five p.m., and is seeking corporate support to add family activities that would be delivered by additional student employees.

The Bell Museum’s mission is to discover, document and understand nature, and promote informed stewardship of our world. It is part of the University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. More information is available at

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