Children Become Little Scientists in New Exhibition
Little Rock, Ark. (Sep. 1, 2020) – Museum of Discovery announced today that “Science + You,” an exhibition that offers a child-sized laboratory where young guests can explore how scientists impact health and wellness, is opening this Saturday, September 5.
Through hands-on, interactive machinery, processes and technology, “Science + You” demonstrates the role science plays in keeping the body healthy. The museum hopes this exhibit sparks children’s curiosity and interest in science and even encourages them to pursue science careers.
According to Museum of Discovery CEO Kelley Bass, the timing of exhibit is perfect.
“With the world continuing to come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, and all it entails, the need to focus on health, and science’s role in promoting it, has never been greater. We also are excited to have something new and exciting to offer to our guests as autumn approaches.”
“Science + You” was created by Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago, thanks to a sponsorship from the AbbVie Foundation, and has traveled to museums in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, as well as internationally to Germany and Brazil.
The exhibition contains a number of individual exhibits and components that allow young guests to become scientists such as:
Entering the Exhibit
Guests will enter the exhibit as if entering a real-life laboratory. At the first station they can pretend to wash their hands and then wipe their feet on a special gel-like floor mat that changes colors to represent the dirt particles it is removing. Guests can even walk through a pretend shower to be bathed in blue lights before they put on their white lab coat. Graphics will communicate how important it is for scientists to work in a clean environment.
Demonstrating how antibodies act in the body, this component of the exhibit offers guests the opportunity to understand a complex process through play. A clear Plexiglas structure is filled with magnetic balls, which represent “germs” in the body. Four stations outside the structure include a moveable antibody guests can use to manipulate germs. Guests use the antibodies to collect the germs within the structure and move them to the “white blood cell” tube. Once the germs have been transferred into the white blood cell tube, they are dropped into a hopper. When all the germs are collected in the hopper the activity is complete and the body is deemed healthy. The germs are dropped back into the center of the structure, and the activity begins again.
Guests can use a glove box, a sealed container used by real-life scientists, with gloves built into the sides, which allows one to manipulate objects safely. Demonstrating how scientists use a glove box to contain materials as well as protect themselves, the children will wear thick gloves to measure substances using beakers, funnels and other lab equipment.
Mixing and Separating Test Lab
Exploring how scientists use machines to mix liquids and solids, this component of the exhibit demonstrates how different types of equipment function. Guests can see the machines in action and can also manually mix and separate liquids and solids themselves.
This exhibit features a specialized Wentzscope and video microscopes that magnify objects on a large video screen, allowing guests to compare and contrast an array of natural and man-made items up close.
Science has shown us that we need a balanced lifestyle to stay healthy. This exhibit component emphasizes the importance of nutrition, exercise and rest with an interactive activity. The exhibit features an outline of a human body with a hollow center. Guests place puzzle pieces representing various forms of nutrition, exercise and rest in different areas of the body. When a healthy balance of all the components is achieved, children hear a congratulatory message. The exhibit promotes being active in a variety of ways, from traditional exercise such as riding a bike, to common activities such as cleaning the house, doing the dishes or walking to school.
In the test kitchen guests will make a “healthy soup,” choosing their own combination of appropriate ingredients. Teaching the importance of a balanced diet, this exhibit has stations with soup pots that can hold up to six ingredients. Guests pick the ingredients from the five food groups. The burner under their soup pot lights up when they’ve selected the correct balance of healthy ingredients.
Guests can share their scientific thoughts and reflections after experiencing the exhibit. A variety of images, drawings and terminology from the exhibit is provided that guests can use to create their own collage. A display wall allows them to share their collage reflection with other guests.
“Science + You” will remain at the Museum of Discovery through mid-January 2021. For more information, visit www.museumofdiscovery.org.
Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences.
Hours of Operation: Wednesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 p.m.; Sunday: 1-5 p.m.; Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Phone Number: 501.396.7050