“We’ve always had live specimens here and I think it was really important when we brought the new exhibit online to continue to have live specimens,” Mortenson said. “It helps our visitors get close to them.”
Like the other three science studios, Bug Works is interactive. Visitors can test their strength against a variety of bugs, including ants and beetles, through a machine a little reminiscent of a strong-man test at a carnival. Spoiler alert: For their size, bugs are strong ... really strong.
Guests an also build their own bugs using plastic interlocking pieces and bug body parts printed on pieces of plastic. Or they can have your photo taken alongside a cartoonish praying mantis in a large photobooth and send the image to their personal email.
Explore how bugs have played an important part in the cultural history of humans — beetles were used to make jewelry in some cultures — and learn about the differences between moths, butterflies and a variety of bees.
The exhibits are meant to be updated and changed as time goes on, allowing visitors to get a unique experience each time they visit, Mortenson said.
“Where we can, we physically and visibly change elements so we can have a conversation with the community,” he said, pointing out that the Explore You health studio has already undergone several changes and updates since it opened in the spring of 2012.
“We’ve changed most of the questions content” in Explore You, as well as the game board for the interactive laproscopic surgery element, he said.
Amy Biber, the director of public relations at the museum, said the next permanent science studio to open will be Artifacts, which is all about culture, in March 2014. After that, the remaining three studios — on biodiversity, extinction and space — will open every six months. The Explore You health studio, Our Marvelous Earth earth sciences studio and In Motion physics studio are already up and operating.
Contact Sunday Lifestyle editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116 or follow her on Twitter at @DanielleHaynes1.
IF YOU GO • WHAT: Bug Works science studio • WHERE: Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo • HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week • MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.sciencebuff.org or call 896-5200.