Ellen Censky views the Milwaukee Public Museum as a way to travel around the world without the cost of airfare. As the museum’s senior vice president and academic dean, Censky said she hopes more students will come to visit the location on the corner of Eighth and Wells Streets.
Censky is excited about the museum’s newest addition, the Hidden Wisconsin exhibit that opened Thursday, Oct. 6.
Much of Hidden Wisconsin is used for geological research, but the museum is displaying certain parts of the collection to visitors.
According to Censky, there is a limestone slab taken from a quarry in central Wisconsin containing fossilized animal tracks that are roughly 520 million years old.
“Those tracks are of a creature that was probably the first to walk out from the sea onto land,” Censky said.
She said she hopes that the exhibit, which will be featured at the museum until early January 2017, will show visitors some of the more interesting sides of Wisconsin that they might not know much about.
Admission is free to the general public the first Thursday of every month, and on other days cost $18. However, the museum has started a Marquette student discount program where $25 will grant admission for one year. Censky hopes that this will encourage more students to visit.
“It’s not learning from a book or from a computer screen, but we put you into an environment. You can see (things) in a different way,” Censky said.
Current highlights include the dinosaur, rainforest and arctic exhibits. There are also vast displays for both the African Plains and Native Americans exhibits, and finally the Butterfly Vivarium where guests can walk around the tropical room as butterflies fly and land around them.
Nick Malik, a sophomore in the College of Communication, hasn’t been to the Museum yet.
“I’ve always heard good things about it,” Malik said. “I think it could definitely be a good and fun activity on a day where I’m looking for something to do.”
Malik is drawn to the museum because of the free first Thursday admission policy and the dinosaur exhibit.
Jake Champe, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, has grown up in the greater Milwaukee area and visited the museum throughout his childhood.
“I enjoyed the big displays that sort of act out the exhibits,” Champe said. “I always liked the Native American section growing up.”
Censky also hopes students can see the recreational value of the museum.
“It’s just a fun way to escape to a different part of the world,” Censky said. “It’s a great way to escape from Milwaukee.”
Nov. 3 is the next day for free admission, and the coming months will tell whether or not the ticket discount package can elevate student interest in the museum.
“It’s so close to campus that students should at least check it out once,” Champe said. “It really is a cool experience, and I wish more students who didn’t grow up in the area would take advantage of it.”