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.
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.
The Springfield Museums
220 State Street, Springfield, MA
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.