M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

A full-size replica of a T-Rex skeleton stands guard at the entrance to Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. Once guests step through the doors, they find something even more impressive: the Taylor Planetarium. One of only a handful of planetariums in the world to offer state-of-the-art Digistar 5 projection technologies, it gives visitors the chance to experience the universe in vivid color and dramatic motion.

Visitors of all ages come to Museum of the Rockies to see the planetarium, including groups of school-age children on field trips. It’s a special experience for children to get a glimpse of outer space up close, often for the first time. The planetarium even has a show for children, The Little Star That Could, which introduces them to the solar system through the story of a little yellow star in search for a planet of its own. One child said of his experience, “You think it will be boring, but once you’re inside, it’s like wow!”

After the thrill of the planetarium, children can explore the other exhibits the museum has to offer, including a special section just for kids, the Martin Children’s Discovery Center, which was also supported by a Murdock Trust grant. Based on the science in Yellowstone Park, kids interact with hands-on activities like setting up camp or a geyser that erupts through a kid-controlled pump.

Of course the fun doesn’t stop there. The museum is perhaps best known for its Siebel Dinosaur Complex, the country’s largest collection of North American dinosaur fossils, consisting entirely of discoveries made in and around Montana. The Murdock Trust has partnered with the museum since 1984, and several of these grants have helped renovate the dinosaur hall. The museum also gives back to its Bozeman community by holding special seasonal shows for groups, including an annual family night for parents and children enrolled in Headstart.

Serving kids and adults of all ages with fun and educational exhibits, the Museum of the Rockies is a Montana gem, and one the Murdock Trust is proud to support.

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