Springfield Museums, Springfield MA

Springfield Museums Exhibit: Zoo in You


Springfield Museums Shines a Microscope on the Human Microbiome

New exhibit to explore the microscopic world that lives in all of us

Trillions of microbes make their homes inside our bodies, and the Springfield Museums will introduce you to them! Visitors of all ages can explore the fascinating and complex world that is our microbiome in Zoo in You, a new exhibition on view January 21 through April 30 at the Springfield Science Museum.

At Zoo in You, visitors can learn who our constant microbial companions are, where they live, how diverse they are, and in what ways scientists are discovering just how important they are to our personal health. Visitors are invited to explore this vibrant world of our inner microorganisms through engaging, interactive, and bilingual exhibits and programs.

Zoo in You is a hoot,” said David Stier, director of the Science Museum. “You find out you are never alone-you have lots of very little companions. Most are good, some are bad, and many just weird looking. It’s fun for the whole family.”

Zoo in You has three thematic areas:

  • Meet the Microbes: From bacteria to archaea, fungi to viruses, these tiny non-human organisms outnumber our human cells ten to one. Through hands-on activities, visitors can learn about “good” microbes, watch how our microbiome reacts to every day occurrences, and manipulate a marble maze to learn how a newborn baby is first colonized by microbes.
  • Our Complex Ecosystems: Delve deeper into the lives of microbes with green screen technology to get a “weather report” on the climate conditions of your nose, mouth, gut and skin, and a touch-screen video game that challenges guests to keep gut microbes in balance. Adults and kids alike are invited to explore the eye-opening hand “washing” station to observe just how long it takes to be free of germs.
  • Exploring Our Microbiome: Visitors can also build their own viruses using puzzle pieces, assemble DNA strands as quickly as possible, and even try their hand at matching DNA patterns to the correct microbes. Plus, a unique photo opportunity allows guests to imagine what they would look like as a microbe.

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To celebrate the exhibit opening on January 21, the Museums will offer a variety of family programs. Highlights include Science in Motion, a mesmerizing blend of comedy and science by Robert Rivest, and a live animal demonstration, plus hands-on art and science. All activities are free with museums admission and supported by the TD Charitable Foundation.

Zoo in You was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This exhibit was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The exhibition is sponsored locally by United Bank. The MassMutual Foundation is the season supporter of the Springfield Museums.

Museum School Announces Unique Classes for Kids and Adults

The Museum School at the Springfield Museums is currently offering classes and experiential learning opportunities for both children and adults. Spaces are still available for winter courses and trips – gift certificates are also available, and make unique and memorable gifts for birthdays and other special occasions. Full course listings are available at SpringfieldMuseums.org by selecting Classes under Programs.

All classes are led by experienced and supportive instructors, in topics tied to the museums’ collections and special traveling exhibits. Winter courses for young people include explorations in the sciences that children of all ages can participate in. This year, “Mornings at the Museum with Mom or Dad” allows children ages three to five explore the museums with a parent and “Space Odyssey” give children ages 8 to 11 a chance to navigate the night sky using a star chart and telescope.  

Offerings for adults during the winter session include a variety of studio arts courses such as basic drawing, color theory, oil painting and watercolor. Other classes include interior design, floral arts, Precious Metal Clay, and woodcarving just to name a few. Many courses are one-day offerings, allowing even the busiest adults to participate.

Adult travel opportunities are also being planned, including day trips to The Met Breuer and The Frick Collection in New York City and Trinity Church and the BSO in Boston. The Museum School is also offering a cruise through southeast Alaska.

For complete course descriptions, travel itineraries, fees and to register, visit SpringfieldMuseums.org and select Classes under Programs or call 413-263-6800, ext. 377 or 382.

The Springfield Museums

220 State Street, Springfield, MA
(413) 263-6800

Set around a tree-lined quadrangle in downtown Springfield, the four world-class museums that comprise the Springfield Museums provide visitors with a wealth of exciting imagery and inspirational artwork.  The D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, and the Wood Museum of Springfield History. The Quadrangle is also home to the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden, a series of full-scale bronze sculptures of Dr. Seuss's whimsical creations, honoring the birthplace of Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. For one admission price, visitors can enjoy all four Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss Park. Secure free onsite parking is available around the corner at 21 Edwards Street. Open Tuesday through Sunday.

Springfield Museums

Nominees Being Sought for Annual Ubora and Ahadi Awards

The African Hall Subcommittee of the Springfield Museums is seeking nominations for the 26th annual Ubora Award and the 9th annual Ahadi Youth Award. The African Hall Subcommittee is a volunteer group comprised of educators, business people and community leaders from the African-American community.The nomination deadline for both awards is March 31, 2017.

The Ubora Award is presented to an African-American adult who has demonstrated a commitment to the Greater Springfield area and exhibited excellence in the fields of community service, education, science, humanities or the arts.The Swahili word ubora means “excellence.”

Named for the Swahili word for “promise,” the Ahadi Youth Award is presented to a young African-American who has excelled in academics and performed admirable service to the Greater Springfield community. Eligible candidates must be age 19 or younger, live in or have strong ties to the Greater Springfield area, and be currently enrolled in grades 10, 11 or 12.

The Ubora and Ahadi Awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Springfield Museums in September. Nominations forms can be downloaded by visiting SpringfieldMuseums.org/Ubora. For additional information, please call 413-263-6800, ext. 325, or email to vcavagni@springfieldmuseums.org.  Nominations may be emailed to Ms. Cavagni or mailed to African Hall Subcommittee, c/o Valerie Cavagni, Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield, MA 01103.

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