Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More Natural History at the PCM

Over the last weekend I did a couple of super fun things and both of them related (at least tangentially) to natural history. First up: I finally was able to visit the new exhibit at one of my favorite museums in the world, the Providence Children’s Museum. It’s called Underland and highlights local animals.

The exhibit is fantastic and has all the elements of a great children’s museum play space. It’s outdoors, which is awesome, and contains weatherproof costumes of different animals such as a spotted salamander. There’s also music involved in the form of an underground marimba.

As always the artwork is phenomenal. Here’re a couple examples:

a star nosed mole!

a chipmunk!

But the best part? Latin names!

This really made my day and represents a philosophy that I share that it’s never too early to introduce folks to real hard science. Even if they don’t really understand what those funny words mean they are getting primed just by seeing them. Later in life many enthusiastic PCM players will still have those fond memories of playing in Underland and reading those Latin words. Not only will they be more ready to understand their real meaning, having been exposed to them early, but this will bring them back to what can only be a magical and fun experience: playing at the PCM. I can only imagine that will help to fill science learning later in life with memories of play and exploration. Just fantastic.

Look forward to a couple of new posts about local fauna.

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