U.S. enters Shanghai Expo 2010 arena

Only a week after making the final commitment to participate in Shanghai Expo 2010, U.S. officials were set to break ground today on construction of the USA Pavilion in China's financial capital. The world expo opens May 1.

Funding issues had sparked the delay in signing the final agreement, but organizers say they've raised half the $61 million needed to build the pavilion, thanks to a growing number of corporate sponsors.

The theme of Shanghai Expo 2010 is Better City, Better Life, and BRC Imagination Arts, the design firm behind the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, among other projects, is creating the interior exhibits.

"The underlying theme is Rising to the Challenge," says BRC's Greg Lombardo. "It's looking at (cities) from an environmental, economic and health standpoint and asking how we can make them more livable."

It all sounds a bit heavy, but Lombardo assures an entertaining experience. "We don't like the idea of bashing people over the head with information. We're creating a visceral experience — something that's four-dimensional and engages every one of the senses, " he says.