"Take a Closer Look"


of an Exhibition

by Kathryn Migliaccio

Published on April 10, 2013

  • Description:

    As you walk into the Museum of Science Boston and walk through the turnstiles into the main part of the museum you have a choice of either walking right toward the Blue Wing or left toward the Green Wing. The exhibit “Take a Closer Look” is in the Lower Level of the Blue Wing. Walking into the Blue Wing, one must take the escalator down to the lower level and the exhibition is on the right hand side of the escalator. Upon walking into the exhibition, one is bombarded with lots of different colors and lights and sounds. This exhibition contains all sorts of interactive exhibits that have to do with the senses: ears, eyes, touch, smell, and they also used the concept of time as well in this exhibition. The first thing that I noticed upon walking into the exhibition was a TV monitor that showed Thermal infrared light on people when they walked in front of the camera. It was quite a sight seeing all of the different colors that covered my body. I later learned that those colors represent different temperatures of the body, the cooler the area the more blue that area is, the warmer the area the more yellow or white it is. After looking at what I saw and reading the labels that went with it, I wanted to see what else this exhibition held, so I walked around to the other exhibits within the exhibition.

    There was an exhibit that looked at people’s sensitivity to vibration called “Vibration Sensation” which contained a vibrating nodule that vibrated and one could change the speed at which the nodule was vibrating. Upon touching the nodule with your finger, it is quite shocking because the sensation is different and strange.

    And there was an exhibit that was meant to see if people could distinguish different scents called “Sense for Scents”; the best part about the exhibit was that there were bottles that could be squeezed to dispel the scent from the bottle near the persons nose and upon determining what the person believes the scent to be, a disk with the name of the determined scent can be placed behind the bottle. After determining what the believed scents are, the flaps concealing the true scent names can be flipped up and one can see if their determinations were correct. This is a great exhibit to develop problem solving since a person has to read all of the instructions and then subsequently follow them and then determining the answers based on little data, without peeking.

    There was also the exhibit called “Seeing with Sonar” where you had to count the amount of “pings” you heard to determine how deep the water was. The more pings you heard, the deeper the water. The game consisted of a six-block grid, seven blocks two each labeled, 2, 4, 6, and the final block had a boat on it. In order to play the game, one had to place the block with the boat on it into one of the six spots on the grid and then press the “ping” button and count how many pings were heard. After counting them, one places the corresponding block with the number of pings onto the spot of the grid where the boat was. One moves the boat around the grid until it is filled with number blocks. After the grid is filled, there is a drawer that can be opened underneath the grid and you can tell how deep the water is, the larger the number, the deeper the water. The boards around the exhibit explained what sonar is and how it works and what animals use it.

    Another exhibit that I saw was called “Fingerprints of Lights” where one could see the different colored lights that make up the lights that we see such as white light and neon light. When you pressed the button for white light for example, you got to see the colors of the rainbow, similar to that of the colors you see through a prism.

    The final exhibit that I saw was called the “Whirligig Watcher” which allows people to watch still images of a hummingbird flying, become a “movie” of a hummingbird flying, the images were moving so quickly that the bird looked like it really was flying simply by spinning the wheel with slits in it. The still images of the hummingbird show slight changes in the movement of the hummingbird. These images are on one side of the wheel; this side is facing a mirror, so that you can see it. The side facing you is black. Focusing on the slits, close one eye, and spin the wheel. The images all blur together to make a smooth “movie”.

    Each of these exhibits taught me something new, and was also a lot of fun at the same time. These were not the only exhibits in the exhibition, there were many others that were just as interesting as the ones that were mentioned here, these were the ones that I visited first and left an impression on me.

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