night we were privileged to get a sneak peak at the new exhibit opening at DMNS, Nature’s Amazing Machines. After the tasty treats provided by DMNS we entered the exhibit and were immediately engaged by a video displaying teasers for the wonders we were about to discover.
Nature’s Amazing Machines answers questions you’ve always wondered about and ones you haven’t even thought of yet. This interactive exhibit provides information in English and Spanish and offers videos, detailed descriptions, life-like models, and hands on activities to tantalize and blow your mind. You’ll discover how a dragonfly moves its wings, watch a Manta shrimp punch as fast as a speeding bullet, and learn the mechanics that creates the Cheetah’s amazing speed.
As we explored the exhibit, the most frequent phrases uttered by my 14 year old were “Wow, I never thought of that before!” and “This is so cool!” I repeatedly turned around to find his jaw hanging open in wonder as he observed the mechanics of various fish jaws, attempted understand the physics of the three foot long giant blue Australian earthworm, and discovered the evolution of the Toucan’s natural radiator, its beak. Over and over again we were amazed by information we didn’t know and had never even contemplated.
The exhibit is broken down into six featured areas explaining how a myriad of creatures across the globe have adapted to their environments to survive. You’ll be engaged and amazed as you travel through Legs and Springs, Wings and Fins, Jaws and Claws, Structures and Materials, Pumps and Pipes, and Insulators and Radiators. Additionally, the Museum is offering collectible trading cards with six different animals and fun facts and activities to try at home. (Printed in both English and Spanish.) The first June/July card is available now, with new ones available at the beginning of each month until the exhibit’s closing on Monday, January 1, while supplies last.
In Nature’s Amazing Machines you’ll discover the physics of bird wings and why some are long and slender while others are short and wide, how different fish move to meet the needs of their environment, and how much energy it takes to pump blood to the brain of a giraffe with a seven foot long neck.
You can compare your grip strength to that of a chimpanzee and learn how leverage and length impact the strength and speed of your jaw. You can try out flying with different types of wings and see how much heat you lose from different parts of your body.
Humans have imitated nature’s adaptations to develop a variety of inventions. Did you know the chainsaw was inspired by a man watching the larva of the longhorn beetle chewing through wood? Or that Velcro is the result of a man trying to get burrs out his dog’s fur?
As we left Nature’s Amazing Machines our minds were blown and our brains were bursting with information and questions. In the words of my son, “How does that even physics? What ? How? This is messing with my mind. Everything in this exhibit is messing with my mind.” We will definitely be back to discover more once our brains have absorbed what we learned last night.
This exhibition was developed by The Field Museum in partnership with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, with generous support provided by the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and ITW. For more information, visit www.dmns.org/NAM.
Mile High Mamas is giving away four tickets to the DMNS. Be sure to enter here!