Ewww! is right. This newly opened exhibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum explores some pretty yucky stuff. Prepare yourself to confront parasites such as lice, ticks and tapeworms.
This exhibit gives visitors the chance to get up close and personal with all of the creatures that make us squirm, from blood-sucking mosquitoes and ticks to skin-munching hair lice and a twenty-meter-long tapeworm.
We had the chance to check this exhibit out last week and I have to be honest -- my kids and I had somewhat different takes on this experience.
I really liked the carnival theme of the exhibit and thought that having comedian Carrot Top act as the Master of Ceremonies was clever. Interactive opportunities include the "Wheel of Misfortune" and the chance to move through "hair" to see how head lice live. I did not so much enjoy some of the yuckier aspects of the experience -- such as the video of a guinea worm emerging from someone's foot. And just writing the word live makes my head itch. I also thought that the exhibit space looked somewhat empty as compared to some recent traveling exhibits that the Museum has hosted in this space. There seemed like there could have been a few more interactive opportunities.
So overall, I loved the setting, but did not so much love the nitty gritty parasite details (interesting, but also the stuff of a few bad dreams about lice in my case).
On the other hand, my kids seemed to really like everything about this exhibit -- except for Carrot Top. All three of my little people (ages 7, 5, and 2) did not like seeing Carrot Top's image projected on multiple screens and hearing his (distinctive) voice. After exploring a few of the different parts of the exhibit, my five year-old asked if we could stay away from the parts "where the scary guy with the crazy hair is." But while I am not sure how much they really understood the carnival theme, they definitely seemed interested in the idea of bugs and other creatures who make their homes in our bodies.
This unusual (but somehow still appealing) exhibit will be in town through January 29, 2012