Dorothy has a new home, and it isn’t Kansas anymore.
On Nov. 11, the SciTech Hands-On Museum in downtown Aurora celebrated the grand opening of its tornado and storm chase exhibit. Mayor Tom Weisner helped unveil the center piece of the new exhibit: “Dorothy,” a storm chase vehicle, standing next to a 10-foot-tall tornado simulator that allows children to stand inside a “twister.”
Eight Munchkins, who sang and danced at the opening ceremony, were the first to check out Dorothy and its equipment. The Munchkins will perform in the Wizard of Oz at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre Thanksgiving weekend.
SciTech now serves as the permanent home of Dorothy, thanks to support from the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. SciTech visitors can get a close-up look at the 1992 Chevy Blazer and its on-board weather monitoring equipment, which enabled storm chasers to upload live videos of storms and tornados to television newsrooms.
Dorothy, donated by well-known storm chaser Eddy Weiss and his national Chasing4Life organization, has logged hundreds of thousands of miles to record hurricanes, tornados and floods and to educate children and adults about disaster preparedness. The vehicle has appeared on television programs and education events across the nation.
“Thank you for the opportunity for Dorothy to be on display at SciTech and to continue its education mission,” said Dan Bocklund, who represented Chasing4Life at the exhibit opening.
SciTech, located at 18 West Benton Street in downtown Aurora, is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 to 3 and Saturday from 10 to 5. Admission is $8 and free for children 3 and under. Museum visitors enjoy free validated parking in the parking garage on the corner of West Benton Street and Stolp Avenue. For more information, visit http://www.scitechmuseum.org or call 630-859-3434.