© Grand Rapids Public Museum
Through September 4, 2016
This exhibit is built according to our planet’s eco-zones, bringing the incomparable adventures of National Geographic to life. Visitors thus have the rare opportunity to learn about the people and their projects, which take us – collectively – into remote and dangerous areas of the globe, help protect our planet’s biodiversity and unearth new scientific discoveries.
Visitors can get close enough to this exhibit so they can explore an arctic cabin and test their abilities to survive in a world covered in ice. Plunge into the ocean in a 3-D submersible to explore life at different depths, going so far as to see a great white shark. Visitors will be able to recognize Amazonian insects at the same time they learn about the advantages of biodiversity. Visitors will experience the renown Himalayan air and take flight in a hot air balloon over the Savanna to become a little more familiar with mammals.
CHILL: The Polar Regions
For those inclined to icy adventures, here’s the chance to experience life on ice in Earth’s extreme Polar Regions. Beset by harsh winds and covered with icicles, see how this Arctic cabin invites hands-on discovery about survival in the Polar Regions. Test yourself by assembling the right mix of carbohydrates and protein in “What’s for Dinner?” See a polar bear march, and glance through a famous photographer’s notebook to uncover his survival strategies. Test how well various gloves protect your hands from the unforgiveable chill of an ice plate.
DIVE: The Oceans
Move on to the ocean’s eco-zone, where visitors will descend into the deep in a 3-D submersible. Get to know life at different depths through National Geographic videos that take you to places you’ve never been. See a spectacular sculpture of a great white shark and learn more about this fascinating creature.
TREK: The Rain Forests
Visitors will find themselves hanging out in a prep tent for a self-guided
“tour” about life in this diverse realm. Learn about the ecosystem, which is largely responsible for our fresh air, and may indeed hold the key to life-saving remedies, as it safeguards our planet’s biodiversity.
CLIMB: Mountains and Caves
See what’s way underneath the surface as visitors descend closer to the Earth’s core and reach unprecedented new heights on its highest peaks. In this exhibit, you’ll meet two explorers – one who travels underground; and the other who is challenged by the highest heights.
SOAR: The Savanna
In this aspect of the exhibit, visitors will soar in a hot air balloon ride to witness endangered mammals on the move. Guests will experience the sensation of flying over a savanna where herds of wild animals still roam and meet the next generation of explorers who have devoted themselves to documenting the lives of endangered mammals of the savanna.
The Robot Zoo
Through September 18, 2016
Enjoy a close encounter with eight animal robots that draw your attention to the characteristics that size up the lives of these marvelous creatures.
The animated robots are larger than life and feature a rhinoceros, a chameleon, a giant squid and a platypus, plus an ordinary house fly – except that it has a wingspan of 10-feet – a grasshopper, a bat and a giraffe. The head and neck of the giraffe extend nine feet.
Though oversized, the machinery in the museum’s animals mimics the body parts of their real-life counterparts. In other words, animation imitates the behaviors of real animals. The artificial chameleon is observed as it prepares to lash out its tongue at an insect. When visitors see the platypus, they will observe front legs doing the breaststroke, while its tail moves up and down. The robot giant squid grips a fish, while its mouth prepares to digest its prey like a spinning food grinder.
Activities that guests can get their hands on feature “Swat the Fly,” which test a visitor’s reaction time, and “Sticky Feet,” when guests experience being a fly on the wall. Using the “Tongue Gun” shows how a real chameleon uses its long, stick tongue to nail a meal.
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272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, Phone: 616-929-1700
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