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LLPA Announces New Partnership with Rio Tinto Kennecott

As the exclusive naming partner of the Plaza, Rio Tinto Kennecott will contribute to the education of students both young and old at LLPA.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020, written by Leanna Read, photographed by Mika Miller

In December 2019, a partnership between Loveland Living Planet Aquarium (LLPA) and Rio Tinto Kennecott was finalized, with the shared goal of educating and inspiring students to explore the natural sciences and pursue interests in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) fields. The new Science Learning Campus Plaza, now officially named Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza, furthers that vision and opens new possibilities for collaboration and growth moving forward.

In October of 2018, LLPA broke ground on the Science Learning Campus, which includes a 90,000 square-foot Science Learning Center, outdoor interactive exhibits, Ecosystem Exploration Craft & Observatory (EECO) and the EECO Command Center, community gathering space, and an amphitheater.

Amanda Boren, Vice President of Finance at Rio Tinto Kennecott, expressed her excitement for this new partnership and its potential to increase opportunities for young students to explore the natural sciences:

 “Through our partnership, we can work together to develop and share STEAM programs, help kids learn about the natural sciences and direct money to support Title 1 schools. These efforts are important steps to help kids explore opportunities, gain skills and find what they are passionate about. We believe our partnership will shape the lives of many youth and influence families for generations.”

The Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza is expected to open in 2020. Guests will be able to explore their individual connection to our Living Planet as well as ecosystems from around the world through interactive learning experiences and play structures. Their curiosity will be sparked to discover hidden worlds of wonder while creative art pieces and exhibits will encourage guests to learn about the impact their choices have on the environment.

Residents throughout the Wasatch Front can already see EECO, the impressive structure that was raised in October of 2019 and was previously used as U2’s stage for their 360˚ World Tour. A circular stage beneath EECO will be the roof of an underground building called the EECO Command Center, a futuristic virtual research ship whisking guests on eco-voyages to different habitats, inside a single cell, down to the deep sea, into outer space, and more.

The Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza will also be used for community events such as festivals, farmers’ markets, outdoor events, and more!

“Our goal with our Science Learning Campus expansion is to reach new audiences and expand our mission to inspire people to explore, discover and learn about our Living Planet.”

– Brent Andersen, Founder & CEO of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

LLPA and Rio Tinto Kennecott join together in encouraging all guests to explore the Living Planet and take action to be a positive influence on our global ecosystem.

To learn more about the future of the Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza in the Science Learning Campus, visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

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