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DETROIT -- With a pledge of $2.4 million from the Marathon Oil Corp., the Detroit Science Center will soon feature a new 6,000-square-foot, three story Future Fuels gallery at the museum’s Science Center.
When completed in 2010, it will be the Midwest’s only public, educational display of petroleum and alternative fuels technology.
"Marathon and the Detroit Science Center share a common mission of encouraging young students to pursue careers in technical fields such as science and engineering," Gary Heminger, Marathon executive vice president and president of refining, marketing and transportation operations, said in a statement. "There is no better way to get students excited about the industry than having them experience it first hand. Students will learn about an industry that plays a vital role in our world and one that provides exciting and challenging careers today and well into the future."
In total, there will 40 exhibits categorized into four areas on three levels: Exploring an Oil Reservoir, Production and Transportation Technology, Inside a Working Refinery and Alternative Fuels.
"Providing support for the Science Center further reinforces our commitment to the city of Detroit and to Michigan. We are delighted to partner with the Science Center in this outstanding educational opportunity," Heminger said in a statement.
Kevin F. Prihod, president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Science Center, explained that features of the exhibit include viewing an underground reservoir where they can see first-hand how crude oil is formed and the technology necessary to produce and deliver the resource. Next, visitors take an elevator ride simulating the movement of oil to the Earth’s surface. The exhibit will also include interactive exhibits on the steps and processes used to refine crude oil into transportation fuels and various other products.
"Alternative fuels hold great promise for the future, however petroleum-based fuels will continue to be a primary source of energy that supports our mobile lifestyle for many years. Future Fuels will expose visitors to the amazing technology of oil discovery, production and refining, as well as the challenges and potential of alternatives," Prihod said in a statement. "The new gallery will provide visitors with a glimpse into one of the greatest engineering challenges of the future—providing the energy to power a growing world."