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Moms and Money: Missouri Institute of Natural Science

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 10:05 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- It’s a hidden gem, tucked back near the James River in South Springfield, the Missouri Institute of Natural Science. It’s currently home to Henry, the largest Triceratops that’s been found, so far. Henry sits in the middle of the room, a current work in progress. It’s the life long passion of Director, Matt Forir.

“Like every kid out there, I us in fell in love with fossils at an early age and unlike most kids that pass that, I never did” said Forir.

It’s a love that became his life’s work.

“I quickly amassed a fossil collection that outgrew my parents home, any home I’ve ever lived in. I kind of make the joke, but there’s a lot of truth behind it, my collection got so big, I started a museum because my house wouldn’t hold it any longer” said Forir.

But it wasn’t until Forir found Henry that he found his match.

“There was something about Henry that just resonated with me. So we dug up a good portion of him. We had to leave, our eight days were over out there. For the next week or two, that’s all I could think about was this dinosaur” said Forir.

Named after his 10 year old son Henry, Forir and a group of volunteers now gather weekly to assemble the fossils of Henry’s body. They’re using technology to help fill in the gaps with a 3-d printer. Forir says education and science can help fill gaps in people’s lives.

“I grew up in a pretty gnarly part of St. Louis. For me, education was the way to get out of that that area. So I realized very quickly that was the only way to break a cycle of dependence on a system, on poverty was to educate. So that is the reason we built this place. It’s free, that’s because the people, the kids, anyone who needs it it the most, can usually afford it the least” said Forir.

The museum is free to the public and open Mon. through Sat. If you’re interested in learning more about the Missouri Institute of Natural Science click here.

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