• Regional Science Center
  • Print
  • Regional Science Center

    The Regional Science Center is a program of Minnesota State University Moorhead. We provide programming in: PK-12 science and environmental education; PK-12 teacher education; college pre-service environmental teacher education; college field and research opportunities in observational astronomy, field biology and geology; and astronomy and natural history programs for the general public. We work closely with local school districts, the Tri-College Universities, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and area businesses, as well as state and national science and environmental organizations.


    Buffalo River Interpretive Site

    The Buffalo River Site, located 16 miles east of Moorhead and adjacent to the Buffalo River State Park, is 300 acres of prairie, woods, and river communities, with an interpretive center and an observatory. To spark an interest in science, the Science Center's programs are exciting, hands-on experiences for ages from elementary students through adults. Programs year-round for grade school and junior high students are fun learning opportunities that explore a variety of science topics. High school and college students engage in numerous research-oriented studies. When your students visit the Center as a part of a class field trip, they're sure to walk away with a greater understanding of and enthusiasm for science.

    The 13,000 square-foot interpretive center houses a multi-purpose classroom, an exhibit area, an auditorium, and a local natural history library. The exhibit area displays permanent collections and traveling exhibits. The Paul P. Feder Observatory houses a 16-inch reflecting telescope projects celestial images to the auditorium via a television camera. The telescope is suitable for public programming, college courses, amateur astronomers, and astronomical research.

    The hiking trails are open to the public from 6 am-11 pm daily for birding and hiking. The interpretive center is also open for scheduled public programs and by special request. For information on special group activities, call the office at 218.477.2904.

    MSUM Planetarium

    The planetarium simulates the night sky. It can show the sky from any location on the Earth, now or thousands of years in the past of future. The heart of the planetarium is the Spitz System 512 planetarium projector. A video projector, multiple slide projectors and special effects projectors supplement the main projector. The result is a multimedia presentation which awes, amazes, entertains and educates viewers of all ages.

    The planetarium offers approximately five different shows for the general public each year. Groups may choose the current public show of one from the planetarium's growing collection of shows. Most of the planetarium shows are about 45 minutes long, except for shows designed for pre-schoolers which run 20-25 minutes. The planetarium is located at 11th Street and 8th Avenue South, on the MSUM campus in Bridges Hall Room 167 in Moorhead, Minnesota.

    General Admission is $5.00; children 12 years of age and under, senior citizens and Tri-College students are admitted for $2.50.  For information, or to schedule a group show, call 218-477-2920. View the planetarium schedule for special events.

    Paul P. Feder Observatory

    The MSUM Regional Science Center observatory is named after Paul P. Feder. He and his wife Betty were original supporters of the Regional Science Center, and major contributors for this observatory.

    The observatory contains a 16-inch cassegrain reflecting telescope. It is a powerful telescope, run by two computers, one in charge of aiming it, and the other in charge of recording images. The system uses sensitive electronic cameras to record images. Images are shown on the computer monitors in the control booth and may also be projected on a large screen in the auditorium. The telescope is used for public programs, undergraduate college instruction, and research. The telescope is powerful enough to see a candle flame 100 miles away. To do so take a mirror that collects 4,000 time more light than the average human eye.


    For More Information

    Call the Regional Science Center at 218.477.2904, or email scicentr@mnstate.edu  to sign up to receive free email newsletters and receive information about special events, program updates, and much more.  The Center's office is located on the MSUM campus in the Hagen Hall Room 103, 1104 7th Avenue South, Moorhead, MN 56563.