By Harrison Schaefer
Located at: The Museum of Science and Industry through Sept. 1, 2014. www.MSIChicago.org
Background: This summer, National Geographic is bringing some of the most exotic environments to the Museum of Science and Industry. National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers gives you the chance to travel through our planet’s remarkable ecosystems, including the polar regions, oceans, rain forests, mountains, caves and savannas.
What to expect: The exhibit highlights the men and women who explore the different environments and the work they do. Attendees are able to get inside perspective on what it’s like to make scientific discoveries, uncover Earth’s secrets and learn how to protect the planet’s biodiversity.
Each ecosystem features multiple interactive elements and tons of useful information. Right from the get-go, you are immersed in the rainforest, surrounded by various insects and reptiles that inhabit Earth’s tropical zones. Experience what it’s like to live out of a tent in the rainforest or drive a rugged jeep through the rough terrain.
The dark depth of the ocean’s floor is the next stop, complete with a life-size replica of the world’s greatest predator — the great white shark — and a “Crittercam” that provides a firsthand look at what a great white sees while prowling the ocean.
What stood out: One of the cooler parts of the exhibit is the polar zone, where you can experience the extremely harsh conditions of Earth’s iciest ecosystem. See what sort of precautions must be taken to protect against freezing temperatures by touching an ice plate with various protective gloves. The savanna, mountain and cave areas also feature exciting components, including a migration mapping activity, hot-air balloon and glowing crystals.
Final thoughts: Loaded with fun facts and interactive elements, Earth Explorers will be a great time for the entire family. And if that’s not enough, the Museum of Science and Industry also offers an array of other stimulating exhibits that serve as the perfect summer getaway.