1: Discovery Place is one of the leading hands-on science centers in the country, offering visitors the opportunity to understand a variety of disciplines in an interactive and informal setting, which is why I choose this venue to share. Discovery Place is known for a strong science genre and so when I heard about their exhibit “Race” that opened in January of this year I was more than intrigued. I decided to review this work because I believe the elements of diversity that are embracive of informal learning and ripe for family dialogue is valuable and always current.
2: What struck me first when reviewing blogs, newspaper articles and the site itself was how “Race” was able to blend history, science, and the focus of how everyday life continues to be impacted by racism.
4: According to one blog, Charlotte Moms, Kelly Lynn shares “ Children learn about the idea of race and to recognize physical differences at a very early age from observations and interactions with their parents, playmates and their families, teachers, and many others. Also, many young children adopt their parents’ ideas and attitudes about race. The exhibit and the online site offer a wonderful down-loadable Family Guide that serves to advise parents or caregivers on how to talk to their children about race and it does so through history but also with through the framework of interactive science exhibits.
6: What strikes most visitors is the ease in which to engage children in questions like" Why are we so different?" Do you want to share a story you have had with race?” "Why do some people have light skin and others have dark skin? How do scientists explain the broad spectrum of human skin color around the globe?"
8: Carissa Lynn, 7, and mom Kelly Lynn about play with an exhibit about preconceivd notions of race. Participants press buttons to see which people in the photos share the same fingerprints, height or blood type, showing that how individuals are lumped into groups or races totally depends on the traits one chooses to do the grouping
10: Jordan Deal, 5, using crayons colored in different human skin tones to express herself. The picture is an example from the website and is one of over 30 activities and exhibits
12: One mom on the Charlotte Moms Blog said: “I also got my oldest daughter involved in a few of the interactive displays, she had a fun time checking out, “Who’s Talking,” where we tried to guess which face belonged to the voice on the speaker."
13: Her daughter also checked out the Sickle Cell Anemia interactive maps and we learned together that certain diseases are based on your location not on your race.
16: History has shown us race is something we have created in our social environment that allows people to still categorizes others. When people do not allow themselves to think from another perspective we are only closing ourselves to the richness we all have to share. Genetically, humans fall on a continuum, short to tall, thin to fat, pale to dark and there are no clear places to divide people into groups, we have, as a global society done just that with weighty and long-term consequences.
17: I do think this exhibit is very family friendly, family needed, and provides an informal yet transforming environment in which to share aspects of race that does focus on a orthodox wisdom that teaches there are a certain number of “races” in the world, and science has shown that humankind cannot be divided into races or categories.