By Adrian Ramos and Stephanie Terry
“If any kid wants to come and learn, they have the opportunity. We want to get them excited about learning.” – Allison Draheim, OU student worker at Sam Noble Museum
Something new is always happening at the Sam Noble Museum in Norman. The museum’s current rotating exhibits are Titanoboa, featuring a replica of the world’s largest snake weighing approximately one-and-a-half tons and measuring over 48 feet long, Through the Eyes of the Lynx: Galileo and the Microscope, part of a university-wide exhibition “Galileo’s World: A Exhibition without Walls”and Be the Dinosaur, where for an additional $2 surcharge visitors take a virtual adventure through the prehistoric age.
According to customer service coordinator Barry Magnin approximately 350 people visit the museum each day.
“Everyone wants to see the big snake,” Magnin said.
Midwest City resident Teresa Stotler brought her sister Cleta Stotler, a retired science teacher from Overland Park, Kansas to see the exhibit.
“After seeing it, I may have to bring my kindergarten students on a early field trip for a visit,” Teresa Stotler said.
Some visitors have waited a while to see the monster snake. Seventh grader Gabriela Shuetze came after watching the documentary on Netflix three times.
“I was really excited when I found out it would be here and I said, ‘Mom, we have a set date to see it here,’” Shuetze said.
While Titanoboa has attracted some visitors, other people visit the museum frequently. Two mothers from Oklahoma City along with their four boys tour the museum several times a summer. One mother that her son often wakes up wanting to go see the dinosaurs and he especially loves taking the elevator that goes over the nose of the dinosaur.
Mary Tillman from Oklahoma City brings her grandkids in the summer when they visit her from San Antonio.
“Going to museums makes me feel smart. When my friends are talking about stuff, I can be like ‘Yeah, I learned at the museum blah, blah, blah...” grandson Rasheed Wells said.
Other families visited the museum for the first time. Neil Molinay explored the museum with his daughter and his visiting sister and nephew from San Antonio.
“I found the museum by accident. I was on Highway 9 heading back to Oklahoma City on a job and I saw the ad for Titanoboa. I am glad we came because this is a really nice museum,” Molinay said.
“This museum is awesome – so many displays and it’s hands-on so you can touch and look at it,” Molinay’s eleven-year-old nephew Jordan Chapman said.
Whether patrons are new to the museum or having been coming for several years, workers like Magnin or student worker Allison Draheim promise there is always something new to be learned. Draheim, who has worked at the museum for six years first as a volunteer and now as a student worker says she still loves the museum and is always learning something new.
“The museum’s purpose is for people to come, learn, and be excited,” Draheim said.