The addition of a permanent exhibit featuring 2,000-3,000 square feet of components titled BiologYou is the biggest change in SEE Science Center’s permanent exhibit offerings since 2006.
“We often see a disconnect with what students see as STEM courses and how they then translate that learning into what they think are potential careers,” said Susan Howland, Executive Director at SEE. She added, “As a member of ARMI, and with help from other members, we will bridge that gap to ensure that students understand the incredible potential available to them with the formation of a brand new industry called Biofabrication.”
A recent ARMI | BioFabUSA member, SEE Science Center, located in Manchester, NH, is an interactive learning center established to promote the understanding, enjoyment and achievements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“We are planning new exhibits which will feature tools and technology used in the Biofabrication industry in a showcase which may include videos, live feeds from research labs, images and information about current successes of ARMI|BioFabUSA and their members. It will be designed to be engaging, frequently updated and will also highlight the industry-related career paths in research and development, business and medicine,” explained Howland when speaking about a future Biofabrication exhibit for the Center.
With over 40,000+ visitors a year, SEE is a member of the Association of Science and Technology Center. Its programs offer concrete interactive experiences in an informal learning environment. All programs have hands-on components and provide an opportunity for students to explore STEM careers.
“Our current BiologYou exhibit features DNA learning experiences that create and informative and unique platform to build upon to show visitors the developments in the biotechnology field as they occur here and worldwide,” said Howland.
Through interactive experiences, the BiologYou exhibition at SEE introduces visitors to DNA, its structure and function. Additional pieces of the exhibit at SEE showcase proteins, human cells and human development utilizing colorful, inviting components.
The permanent exhibit also introduces emerging technologies including gene editing using virus delivery and was developed with the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services and the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research.
“‘Zip-Un-Zip’ is a fun game that engages visitors in copying DNA as a visitor races to complete the puzzle, matching the DNA bases before time runs out. The shapes of the components help students and others discover how DNA is replicated and if they don’t make it in time, the pieces fall off the electromagnetic wall and they can try again,” explained Howland.
Visitors can twist and untwist a dynamic model of DNA which is engaging and eye catching for both young and old alike as they interact with the model to get a close look at the structure of DNA and how it holds information.
“Our ‘Cell Explorer’ is a giant model of a human cell that allows visitors to explore its components using a movable screen that detects and explains the different cell components. This exhibit uses technology to immerse people into a microscopic world,” she said.
The exhibition as a whole is designed to engage visitors of different ages and with different levels of prior knowledge. This important design feature allows repeat visits from members of the community with new levels of learning each time.
SEE Science Center also includes the largest permanent LEGO® installation, at minifigure scale, in the world. The project represents Manchester's Amoskeag Millyard, the largest textile manufacturer in the world in 1915, as it might have looked in full operation. The model, representing a portion of the millyard from that era, was built with over three million LEGO bricks.
“The SEE staff and I are very excited to work with ARMI and its members to design the best possible interactive exhibits to build awareness for the future of biofabrication learning and careers,” she concluded.