The Best Kept Animal Secrets Revealed at The Children’s Museum!
Where does a chipmunk sleep? What does an eagle feed its young? How do mother bats find their babies in a cave?
In Animal Secrets, children and families will learn the answers to these questions and more as they explore the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest animals at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis from February 8-May 4, 2014.
This new exhibit is geared toward our younger visitors, children ages 3-8. Through imaginative role-play and hands-on activities, they will discover nature from an animal’s point of view in stream, woodland, meadow, and cave environments and investigate specimens in a naturalist’s tent.
“Promoting science education, and in particular STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a core mission of this museum. Animal Secrets, created by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and expanded and customized for our visitors with native Indiana artifacts and objects from our own extensive Natural Science Collection, is an example of how seriously we take our quest to cultivate a love for science, beginning with our youngest learners and their families,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Animal Secrets offers parents tips on how to encourage their children’s interest in science. It offers text panels in both English and Spanish.
Using role-play and hands on activities, children and families can learn about forest animals in five naturalistic environments:
The Stream: A highly interactive stream table and its surrounding environment engage visitors as they dramatize interactions between animals. Children will enjoy mimicking how animals take care of their ecological needs, such as finding food and shelter, and nurturing young ones.
The Woods: Children and families are invited to explore a woodland clearing, crawl through a tree’s roots, play in a chipmunk’s den, investigate a raccoon’s log and curl up in an eagle’s nest.
The Meadow: Beautifully illustrated murals, including images of wildflowers, blue heron, butterflies, and a rabbit, transport visitors to a grassy meadow. Children and their grownups will be able to follow four winding sets of animal tracks and listen to specific animal sounds to locate the animals that made them. Families will also be able to create their own butterfly wing patterns using multicolored mosaic tiles.
The Cave: Children and families can explore the secret world of a dark woodland cave using tethered lights to search its outcroppings and niches. They can assemble a three dimensional, larger-than-life ant.
The Naturalists’ Tent: Visitors can role-play working as a naturalist in a canvas tent outfitted with real field equipment and environmental elements. They can examine, compare and contrast the characteristics of five different animal skulls, sort a variety of natural artifacts in order to display an impressive museum collection, and match animal tracks to the animal that made them using paw-like puzzle pieces.
Animal Secrets was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon. The exhibit was made possible with funds provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Additional support provided by the Collins Foundation and Meyer Memorial Trust.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, Facebook.com/childrensmuseum and YouTube.