EdVenture is adding two exciting new permanent exhibits this fall: Wags & Whiskers and Body Detectives. This is the first major renovation of museum galleries at EdVenture, a unique facility that supports the enhancement of 21st century skills for the children of South Carolina.
Wags & Whiskers is a 265 sq ft permanent exhibit scheduled to open November 5, and is for children ages 5-12 and their caregivers. This exhibit emphasizes responsible pet care from the choice of a family pet to the best way to care for animals. Visitors can take on the role of clinic customer, veterinarian, or groomer.
As veterinarians, they will examine patients to diagnose ailments and decide the appropriate treatment. Children will be able to put on a lab coat and take an animal from the cage to review its chart. They can investigate x-rays and use a Pet Scanner to find out what’s wrong. Also by using the Pet Scanner, children can determine why the animal needed to visit the vet: a broken paw, spay or neuter, or heart worms. In the Examination/Grooming Area, visitors can groom, medicate or bathe dogs and cats on two examination tables. Families will be encouraged to think about which type of pet is best for them depending on their living space, activity level, budget,etc. A pet will be recommended (or not) based on their answers. The interactive will be humorous, but will realistically portray the responsibilities of pet ownership. Information will be provided on the costs of owning a pet (adoption vs. buying, vet care, food costs), shelters that are available in the local area for adoption, and reinforcing the need to have one’s pets spayed or neutered. Visitors will use a touch screen animated flash video to learn “What if I don’t spay or neuter my pet?” Using animated cats and dogs, children will be able to visualize how quickly animals reproduce if they are not spayed and neutered.
The second exhibit, Body Detectives, is a 1,620 square foot exhibit scheduled to open November 12. Body Detectives challenges children to uncover the mysteries of how their bodies work and how to keep them healthy. Body Detectives will be installed in our current Body Works exhibit space and is organized into three areas: Body Detectives, the exhibit, Body Detectives Lab, and BioInvestigations Lab. All three areas include activities best suited for children ages 8-12 years.
In The Body Detectives Exhibit, visitors will stand in a “body scanner” to learn what makes up the human body, investigate their teeth, tongue and mouth using 3-D modeling software, work both their cardiovascular and nervous systems by competing in a game of light tag to test their reaction time and get their heart rate going, and investigate the anatomy and physiology of the body’s vital organs. In The Body Detectives Lab, visitors explore the many factors contributing to chronic disease, particularly three widespread chronic diseases: heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. Interactive activities and informational multimedia lead visitors to answer these questions about chronic disease: What is it? How can we prevent it? How can we treat it? Who is working to cure or control it? Visitors will act as detectives assigned to investigate three “open cases,” profiling colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease, analyze different patient profiles and measure their risk of getting a chronic disease, and compete against one another in a multimedia game to capture good behaviors and fend off risky ones by making lifestyle choices. The fewer risky behaviors, the less likely you are to get a chronic disease.
Visitors also can discover what disease looks like at the cellular level by using real microscopes to examine slides of healthy and diseased cells or tissue, participate in a variety of treatment-related challenges that simulate the skills needed by doctors and scientists in the real world, select from a video library of actual surgeries to view procedures involved in the treatment of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer, learn about genetic expression by selecting their “genes” on a 3-D model of a DNA double helix. As the animated “avatar” in the dynamic display changes in response to their gene selections, they get to see their own DNA blueprint take shape. In Body Investigations Lab, visitors will participate in facilitated laboratory activities that relate to the human body, staying healthy, and prevention and treatment of chronic disease.
Sponsors of Body Detectives: Colonial Life, Fullerton Foundation, Lipscomb Family Foundation, Richland County, and National Institutes of Health.