Kalamazoo, MI – The Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Innovation Gallery, an all-new science exhibit and interactive space, is now open. There are more than 26 new interactive challenges for visitors, including the use of endoscopic manipulation, “game show” style food systems quizzes, race car building, wind turbine construction, “dancing” MRI and X-ray images that follow your every move, climate simulator, music and augmented sound generator, and more.
“The infusion of an innovation theme into the traditional science exhibit museum space reflects the growing importance and recognition of the creative spirit within scientific discoveries,” said Dr. Paige Eagan, Dean of Math, Sciences, and Health Careers at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. “The new gallery space – exhibits and activities – provides a connection with scientific history and helps visitors question the future with innovation in mind.”
The exhibit includes team-building activities as well as one-on-one dynamic, technology-rich exploration of four major areas: Body, Land, Mobility, and Music.
BODY - Explore innovations in medicine and safety that help humans live longer and better lives. Find out if you have the skills to be a surgeon through an endoscopic training exercise. Try our simulated full body scanner for three different views of your bones, tissues, and more. Check out some radical new advances in prosthetics and protective gear.
LAND - See how glaciers moved across our region, creating the Great Lakes. Craft your own topography with an augmented reality sandbox. Its 3D projection allows you to create live weather effects with your hands and see how erosion and watersheds are affected with increased rainfall. Challenge your friends and family to an interactive quiz “show” as you test your knowledge of food and agriculture.
MOBILITY - Feeling the need for speed? Build a race car and see how your design fares against others on our new track! An interactive display on fluid dynamics explores the shape of cars, airplanes, and boats and helps you understand how this affects their speed.
MUSIC - Humans have been modifying sounds into music for thousands of years. Explore your inner musician in our rhythm machine room, where you can compose your masterpiece using a touchscreen and numerous mechanical instruments. Learn more about Kalamazoo’s innovations in guitars and distortion devices.
“The Innovation Gallery, Innovation Lab, and ThinkTank are fully committed to the idea of developing more accessible innovative, immersive, and hands-on experiences that are both engaging and fun,” said Kalamazoo Valley Museum Director Bill McElhone.
“The new gallery will dedicate space for live participatory demonstrations to bring science to life and perhaps spark a new or renewed interest in the sciences by making them relatable and relevant for all visitors.”
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.