Children put on lab coats and become scientists for the day in Science + You, a ground-breaking new exhibit opening at the EcoTarium on September 21. In Science + You kids have lots of hands-on fun while learning how the work that scientists do helps us stay healthy. Set up as a child-sized laboratory, the exhibit encourages exploration and discovery with interactive, kid-friendly lab equipment, bio-medical research activities, and technology – modeled after those used by real scientists.
“Kids love to role play, and in Science + You, they can pretend to be researchers, have fun, and get inspired about science -- all at the same time,” said EcoTarium President Joseph Cox.
Developed in conjunction with scientists at AbbVie, the global biopharmaceutical company, Science + You, was created by Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago. The exhibit will be at the EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester through April 27, 2014 and is free with museum admission. During the month of September, EcoTarium admission is half price.
Interactive stations simulate a real laboratory
Science + You includes eight activity stations, designed for exploration through play and role-modeling. In addition, a special demonstration area allows visiting scientists and educators to perform fun and interactive scientific experiments appropriate for young children. These demonstration times will be scheduled regularly throughout the exhibit’s stay at the EcoTarium. Dates and times will be posted on the museum’s website: www.ecotarium.org.
Science + You activity stations include:
• Scrub Area: Children enter the exhibit as if entering a real-life laboratory. They “wash” their hands and wipe their feet on a special gel-like floor mat that changes colors to represent the dirt particles it is removing. They are “bathed” in blue lights in a pretend shower before putting on a white lab coat.
• Antibodies: By playing an interactive “Antibody Game,” kids learn how antibodies act in the body to collect germs and feed them to white blood cells to fight infection and illness.
• Glove Box: Kids literally get “hands-in” using a glove box, a sealed container used by real-life scientists, to handle objects and materials safely. In another activity, they wear thick lab 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 station demonstrates how different types of equipment function. Children watch the machines in action and then manually mix and separate liquids and solids themselves.
• Magnification Area: Using a specialized Wentzscope and video microscopes that magnify objects on a large screen, children compare and contrast an array of natural and man-made items up close.
• Healthy Lifestyle: Science has shown us that we need a balanced lifestyle to stay healthy. In this station, children complete a life-size healthy body puzzle, which emphasizes the importance of nutrition, exercise and rest.
• Test Kitchen: In the test kitchen children make a ‘healthy soup,’ choosing their own combination of appropriate ingredients from five food groups. The stove burner under their soup pot lights up when they’ve selected the correct balance of healthy ingredients.
• Science Reflection: Just as real scientists document their findings, kids are invited to share their scientific thoughts and reflections after experiencing Science + You. They can create their own collage of images, drawings, and terminology from the exhibit.
“We are thrilled to be part of this unique and exciting exhibit that allows children to become young scientists,” said Tracie Haas, divisional vice president for corporate responsibility at AbbVie. “Using the hands-on tools, machines and processes in the exhibit will give them a better understanding of how scientists work, which will hopefully inspire an interest in science and the pursuit of future science careers.”
Since its debut at the Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago in 2011, Science + You has traveled to museums in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, as well as internationally to Germany and Brazil. The exhibit is sponsored by the AbbVie Foundation.
About the EcoTarium
The EcoTarium is New England's leading science and nature center, an indoor-outdoor venue dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. The center offers a museum building with three floors of interactive exhibits and is home to live animal habitats, interpretive nature trails through forest and meadow, the Alden Digital Planetarium, a tree canopy walkway (seasonal) and a narrow-gauge railroad.
The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $8 for children 2-18, $10 for seniors 65+ and students with ID. WOO card holders receive $2 off one adult admission and $1 off one planetarium show. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.ecotarium.org.
About AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases. In 2013, AbbVie employs approximately 21,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com.
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Julieane K. Frost
Manager of Communications and Marketing