Trailer with educational exhibits inside stolen from Waterloo mu - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trailer with educational exhibits inside stolen from Waterloo museum

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Thieves have made off with science exhibits intended to educate children.

They made off with a trailer full of hands-on space exhibits 2 weeks ago from downtown Waterloo.

One of the items stolen was a sun-spotter telescope.

The trailer belongs to the Bluedorn Imaginarium - part of the Grout Museum District in downtown Waterloo.

The facility's leaders don't know who took the trailer and the 7 space-related exhibits inside.

They're now scrambling to make up for the loss.

It's touted as the "World's Greatest Spring Break" - and as part of that, kids streamed into the Bluedorn Imaginarium Thursday.

The hands-on activities inside are fun - and educational - for the hundreds of children who visit throughout the week.

After this week, a team from the imaginarium usually goes on the road to schools and fairs with exhibits like these.

But not this year.

Thieves stole the trailer which holds the exhibits and a tent.

The trailer was sitting in a parking lot underneath Highway 218 in downtown Waterloo.

It's black, 16 feet, double axle, enclosed. Museum officials say they think the thieves probably had no idea what was inside."

"We travel to festivals and fairs with it and recently we also partnered with school districts to offer enrichment programs using them," said science outreach coordinator Jason Dornbush.

Dornbush says the exhibits have been in use for about the last 8 years.

Now, they'll have to figure out a "Plan B".

"We can't do that program. We're going to have to adapt and change our programming. Hopefully, what we have to offier is something our venues will appreciate and want us to come in and do. Otherwise, we're out," said Dornbush,.

Museum officials say there are only 11 sets of exhibits like this in the world.

It's an interactive exhibit that focuses on space travel.

They say they've contacted local scrap yards to keep their eyes open for any of the metal fittings or other pieces which might show up.

Waterloo Police are also keeping an eye out for the trailer and the exhibits inside.

Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is also involved.

If you have any information, you can call them at 1-855-300-TIPS or text the word CEDAR along with the tip to CRIMES (274637).

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