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EcoTarium, Worcester MA.jpg

Worcester Lyceum of Natural History, 1825
Worcester Natural History Society, 1884
Worcester Science Center, 1971
New England Science Center, 1986
EcoTarium, 1998

Location Worcester, Massachusetts
Type Science museum

The EcoTarium is a science and nature museum located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Previously known as the New England Science Center, the museum features several permanent and traveling exhibits, the Alden Planetarium, a narrow-gauge train pulled by a scale model of an 1860s steam engine, a tree canopy walkway, and a variety of wildlife.


The EcoTarium was founded in 1825 as the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History.[2] The first spaces dedicated to the museum were the Natural History Rooms on the third floor of the Worcester Bank Block on Foster Street, which opened on October 1, 1867. In 1891 the collection that started the EcoTarium moved to the Old Edwin Conant Mansion 12 State street corner of Harvard street].

As the collection grew more and more space was needed. In 1954 the museum moved exhibits to the Daniels House and the Rice House at 41 Elm street, both in Worcester. The final move took place in 1971 to a new building, designed by Edward Durell Stone, built on 60 acres (240,000 m2) of donated land. At this point the name of the museum was changed to the Worcester Science Center, then changed again in 1986 to the New England Science Center.

In 1998 the museum yet again changed its name to EcoTarium, and began an 18 million dollar expansion and renovation project which was finished in 2000. [1]

Former Exhibits[edit]

Until recently, one of the museum's most well-known exhibits was a polar bear named Kenda. Kenda died June 13, 2011. Kenda had developed kidney disease (a common disease in polar bears at zoos) and it was decided that she should be euthanized. With this, polar bears are yet no longer to be seen in New England. [3] Kenda's mother, Ursa Minor, lived at the museum until her death in 2001 at the age of 36, making her one of the oldest captive polar bears.[4]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 42°15′50.8″N 71°46′00.5″W / 42.264111°N 71.766806°W / 42.264111; -71.766806