"Earth Explorers" at the Museum of Science and Industry opens up the unparalleled adventures of National Geographic to its visitors — Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
The exhibit is organized around Earth’s six spectacular ecozones: polar regions, oceans, rain forests, mountains, caves and the African savanna. The exhibit features the advanced technology of augmented reality (AR) to bring various animals inside the exhibit to life.
Augmented reality (AR) helps bring various animals inside the exhibit to life — Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
Some attendees of the exhibit's grand opening had the pleasure of meeting Sarah McNair-Landry; she is an adventurer, cinematographer and one of the explorers whose work is featured in the exhibit. McNair-Landry and her brother Eric have explored the Arctic for months at a time, covering huge distances by walking, dog sledding, kite skiing and even kayaking. McNair-Landry’s earliest adventures began right in her own backyard above the Arctic Circle.
She shared how her love of the outdoors started at a very young age and also encouraged children to go out and explore.
"I grew up with a team of dogs and the Arctic Ocean in my backyard,” McNair-Landry says. “At the age of 10, my brother Eric and I decided that we wanted to head out on an overnight hiking trip, all by ourselves. So for the week leading up, my parents made us practice and prove that we could light the stoves, work the radio and camp outside by ourselves on our back porch. Once we had proven our skills, Eric and I got to head out on our camping trip. We continued to head out for longer and longer trips, which eventually led to multi-month expeditions."
Interactive exhibits allows kids of all ages to explore at their own pace — Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
The Museum of Science and Industry's Earth Explorers exhibit begins with “Base Camp,” which allows guests to climb aboard an off-road vehicle similar to those used by filmmakers and scientists in the field. Interactive displays like this are great for kids young and old because it immerses visitors into the experience.
As one continues through the rest of the eco-zones, stopping to read the details from each of the explorers, the exhibit also allows each person to embark on his or her own adventure by discovering new species, studying animal behavior and learning about the important roles technology, innovation and ingenuity play in making and documenting these discoveries.
Earth Explorers runs through September 1 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Entry into the exhibit is not part of the general museum entry fee but is available as part of a Museum Explorer ticket package. For more information, visit MSIChicago.org.