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EcoTarium’s City Science Exhibit Explores Impact of Science Museums on Cities

Friday, April 14, 2017

 

EcoTarium President Joseph Cox (left), and EcoTarium Director of Exhibits Betsy Loring, (right), present Worcester Mayor Joe Petty with a “Valentine to the City of Worcester,” as a “thank you” to all of the City departments that collaborated with the EcoTarium during the development of the City Science exhibit.

The EcoTarium’s newest exhibit “City Science: The Science You Live” is asking the question, “can science museums impact the future of our cities?” 

The exhibit, which opened on January 17, investigates the environmental and health impacts of how people live in and build cities. It also encourages visitors to consider choices that result in healthier and more sustainable cities.

“More than half of the world’s population lives in cities and yet we often overlook the science questions that are hiding all around us in urban environments. City Science not only provides unique and fun experiences for our visitors to enjoy together, it also allows them to learn the kinds of skills that can help them make our urban neighborhoods great places to live,” said Betsy Loring, the Director of Exhibits at the EcoTarium. 

The Exhibit 

The City Science exhibit uses live animals, interactive components, and natural history specimens in order to give children and families the chance to experiment and see the science happening in their community. 

The EcoTarium worked alongside researchers to develop interactive components that present current ecology research on subjects such as green spaces, biodiversity and heat islands, and examine if that learning influences how visitors design their ideal neighborhood.

Several exhibit components explore the design of sustainable neighborhoods, for example:

Turtles highlight land use concerns

In “Turtle’s Eye View” visitors place houses and roads to build a neighborhood and then project pathways showing how a turtle would travel between four habitats necessary for its survival. Visitors then redesign their neighborhood to make it safe for turtles, encouraging thinking about how communities can balance the needs of people and animals.

Using birds to teach urban biodiversity

In “Best Nest,” children learn about habitat conservation and the importance of biodiversity. By attempting to place species of plush birds into city and forest nests using clues about the bird’s preferred habitats, they learn that while many birds can find homes in different habitats, there are some that cannot.

Exploring city “hot spots”

In “City Hot Zones,” visitors learn about urban heat island effects and build a city with buildings, parks and roads. Using a heat lamp for the sun and an infrared camera, visitors can see how their city would heat up where hot spots might occur and redesign for a healthier city.

 

Related Slideshow: 25 Things to do in New England for Free this Spring - 2017

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Cliff Walk

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The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery. 

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PHOTO: Billy Zoom/flickr

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Take a Tour of Yale University 

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Royalston Falls

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Free Tour of Lake Champlain Chocolates 

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Chocolate lovers this is for you. 

Take a free tour of Lake Champlain Chocolates and even get some free samples. What is better than that? 

The tour takes approximately 30 minutes and is seated. There is no walking involved. 

Tours run Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.but are limited to 35 people. 

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U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum and USS Nautilus 

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PHOTO: Facebook

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Independence Trail

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Boston Fire Museum 

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WaterFire

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Explore the Site of Paul Revere's Midnight Ride 

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Visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

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Allagash Brewing Company

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Purgatory Chasm

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Tour Sam Adams Brewery

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Take a FREE tour of Sam Adams Brewery and see where some of the best beer is made. Learn about the history of Sam Adams beer, how it's made, experience the entire craft brew process and of course try some samples.

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The Freedom Trail

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The Freedom Trail is a two and a half mile walking tour that connects 16 significant Boston landmarks.

Interior access to the Freedom Trail's sites is also free, except for the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House.

The Freedom Trail is a great way to get exercise, explore Boston and learn about history, all at the same time.

Photo: Wikipedia

 
 

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