The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and it looks like we have put the colder winter weather behind us.
The EcoTarium in Worcester is where much about the outdoors can be learned inside the interactive museum.
The EcoTarium is an indoor-outdoor museum which offers three floors of interactive exhibits.
While animals are a major draw at the EcoTarium, there are also many hands on, interactive science based exhibits that explore the natural and physical sciences and our New England environment. One of the newest exhibits is called City Science.
"Within this exhibit we talk about design principles you can use to make a city cooler, especially in the summer time. We have expressly tailored one of our school programs to go along with that. It's called City Hotzones and kids get to manipulate a number of different variables and we use an infrared camera so they can see how hot their cities are and whether their redesign made it a cooler city," said Anna Crocker.
In addition to the interactive science exhibits, the EcoTarium also has a digital planetarium.
They are in the midst of a five year partnership with National Geographic. Less than ten museums nationwide have this exclusive partnership and the EcoTarium is the first museum partner in New England.
"In our planetarium we have a number of live planetarium shows. Some of those really focus on space, we look at stars and constellations. We take a grand tour of the solar system visiting the planets and the moons around several different planets," Crocker added.
The Mount Washington Exhibit on "the top" of the EcoTarium is where visitors explore some of New England's wildest weather patterns and the geology of the White Mountains.
At that exhibit you can experience what it's like to stand in hurricane force winds, among other features at the exhibit.
"Mount Washington you can experience the gale force winds of Mount Washington. You really sort of experiment with wind and the impact it plays on ecosystems. We do have an understanding weather program that kind of matches that. That takes kids through what is wind. How does it form? What does precipitation play a role in as far as weather goes and we experience at the end some of the more extreme weather," Crocker noted.
Whether you want to learn more about ways to help make the city you live in cooler, or if you want to learn more about space, stars, constellations and planets, and know more about what it's like to be in some of the wildest weather patterns in New England, then you will surely want to take a field trip to the EcoTarium.
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