Science + You...Plus Mother
Earlier this month, Mother Nature threw ice golf balls
through numerous panes of glass at our beloved Garfield Park
Conservatory. A week ago today, she aimed some major gusts
at the windy city and the burbs, knocking down trees
and taking out power. Unfortunately, that was the
day we had video interviews and a sneak peek
at Science + You scheduled. Kohl
was unwittingly caught up in more of a science experiment than they
We spent 2 hours in the car driving out and back
to Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview,
in rush hour, just to find the museum eerie and dark.
I was thinking about the poor baby chicks in the incubator,
and wondering if they survived without power. It was an
inconvenience for us...but maybe a matter of life and death for
Unfortunately, we had a packed schedule and couldn't get out again
before the opening tomorrow, so all we could snap was some outdoor
signage. Although we can't review it for you, quite yet,
we've got the basics and photos courtesy of Kohl. Now that
Mama Nature's big meteorology demo is over, we recommend budding
scientists 8 and under, and their chauffeurs, head on out to Kohl
and check out the Science + You grand opening today. Here's
NEW SCIENCE + YOU EXHIBIT MAKES WORLD DEBUT
AT KOHL CHILDREN'S MUSEUM Tuesday July 19, 2011
With Support from Abbott and the Abbott Fund, the Interactive
Exhibit Showcases the Important Role of Science in Promoting Health
and Wellness. Following Its Presentation at Kohl, Exhibit
will Travel to Museums Nationwide and Abroad (But we get it
Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago is proud to present
theworld debut of Science +
You, a groundbreaking new exhibit designed in
conjunction with scientists at Abbott, the global health care
company with headquarters in Lake County. The exhibit will be
unveiled to the public Tuesday July 19th.
Underwritten by Abbott's philanthropic foundation, the Abbott Fund,
the 1,200 sq. ft. Science + You
exhibit offers a child-sized laboratory where children can explore
how scientists impact health and wellness. Through hands-on,
interactive machinery, processes and
technology, Science + You
demonstrates the role science plays in keeping the body healthy. A
demonstration area of the exhibit also will allow Abbott scientists
to visit and perform fun and interactive scientific experiments
appropriate for young children.
Following its Kohl Children's Museum
debut, Science + You will be
installed into other children's museums in the United States and
abroad, with content presented in multiple languages.
"We could not be more honored to partner with Abbott on this
important new exhibit," said Sheridan Turner, President and CEO of
Kohl Children's Museum. "We have worked closely with Abbott
scientists to design an exhibit that sparks children's curiosity
and interest in the world of science. Through hands- on activities
and play, we hope to communicate how science impacts our world and
"When designing the Science + You exhibit, we
visited Abbott's research labs, and, consulted with Abbott
scientists and nutritionists to find effective ways to communicate
about scientific discovery and healthy lifestyles," said Mary
Trieschmann, Vice President of Programs at Kohl Children's
"We are thrilled to be a part of this unique and exciting exhibit
that allows children to become young scientists. Using the hands-on
tools, machines and processes in the exhibit will give them a
better understanding of how real scientists work, which will
hopefully inspire an interest in science and pursuing future
science careers," said Cindy Schwab, Vice President of the Abbott
Fund.Science + You exhibit makes world
debut at Kohl Children's
Entering the Exhibit
Children 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.
Children 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
Demonstrating how antibodies act in the body, this component of the
exhibit offers children 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 that children can
use to manipulate germs. Children 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
deemed healthy. The germs are dropped back into the center of the
structure and the activity begins again. A video also demonstrates
how real antibodies in the body collect germs and feed them to
white blood cells.
Children can use a glovebox, a sealed container used by real-life
scientists, with gloves built into the sides allowing one to
manipulate objects safely. Demonstrating how scientists use a
glovebox 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. Children can see the machines in action, and
can also manually mix and separate liquids and solids
This exhibit features a specialized Wentzscope and video
microscopes that magnify objects on a large video screen, allowing
younger children 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.
Children 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
In the test kitchen children will make a 'healthy soup' choosing
their own combination of appropriate ingredients. Teaching children
the importance of a balanced diet, this exhibit has stations with
soup pots that can hold up to six ingredients. Children 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
Children can share their scientific thoughts and reflections after
experiencing in the exhibit. A variety of images, drawings and
terminology from the exhibit is provided that children can use to
create their own collage. A display wall allows children to share
their collage reflection with the public. Grease pencils will also
be provided for children to write down their impressions.
"We look forward to seeing children's reaction to this new
exhibit from a visual perspective with the scientific reflection
component. As the exhibit tours, there are opportunities to make
modifications based on findings from the exhibit's stay at Kohl
Children's Museum," said Trieschmann.
Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a writer-photographer-potter-painter-actress-animal wrangler-general creatrix and Mama to two amazing kiddos.
See more of Bonnie's stories here.
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