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TOPIC: Lots of treasure hunting at McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

Lots of treasure hunting at McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center 7 years 3 months ago #11084

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Lots of treasure hunting at McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
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Avah LaSage (right), 6, and Rivkah Valley (left), 7, pan for fool's gold in part the new Treasure exhibit at the Discovery Center in Concord; Friday afternoon, January 25, 2012. It was the girls' first time at the Discovery Center. Their mothers Tavia LaSage and Kathy Valley homeschool them and said they will definately be spending more time at the museum in the future.

By MELANIE PLENDA For the Monitor

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Whether it be gold stashed at the bottom of the briny blue or the dusty knick knack in your grandma’s hope chest, treasures can be found anywhere and can be anything.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will host the exhibit “Treasure!” over the next several months, exploring the history of treasure, treasure hunting, the stories behind the people who go on the hunt as well as the latest in technology that helps hunters find their cache.

“We thought this would be a cool exhibit to get,” said Timothy Taber, education coordinator of exhibits at the center. “It’s something a little bit different than something we would normally do and has a lot of fun interactive things.”

The exhibit includes themes such as underwater treasure, buried treasure, gold rush, treasure in the attic, geocaching and metal detecting among others. Each of the themes also has corresponding hands-on activity that allows kids to try treasure hunting.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Sarah Ricker Foynes, a mom who posted on the museum’s Facebook page. “My kids especially liked shooting the cannon balls and using the metal detectors.”

The exhibit also features actual artifacts from shipwrecks and other treasure sites, officials said, and visitors can go on a real hunt for a treasure chest inside the exhibit.

“When they designed this exhibit, they wanted to cover several different ways that people view treasure,” Taber said.

To that end the exhibit includes a trunk filled with household finds as part of the Treasure in Your Attic portion.

In the Treasure in Pop Culture section, the staff stocked their book shelves with treasure and pirate books and decorated the walls with posters from treasure-themed movies.

As part of the Gold Rush portion, kids get a chance to pan for gold, and they get to scan for treasure in the sand with a metal detector, Taber said.

Another highlight includes a room set up with pirate-themed items including a pirate ship with cannons, rope tying and shanties.

The exhibit also takes a look at geocaching, the family-friendly outdoor activity that uses GPS receivers to find treasure hidden by other players.

Exhibit visitors will do an indoor version of geocaching in this part of the exhibit, officials said. Protecting Treasure will also be a theme to explore at the exhibit including the extremes people will to go to protect treasure.

“The excitement of finding treasure is the same as the excitement of exploring space and other areas,” Taber said. “We hope that people have a lot of fun and are inspired to search for treasure.”

This exhibit is for all ages, free with paid admission and runs through May 25. For more information about the exhibit, visit or call 271-7827. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is located at 2 Institute Drive.

The center is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the first and second Friday nights from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Courtesy Concord Monitor
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“Treasure – If it’s out there, we’re going to find it!” (Tommy Vawter)
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