Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Animal Secrets uses Spanish and English in forest creature exploration exhibit opening October 1 at Adventure Science Center

Spanish-speaking and English-speaking visitors alike will feel welcome at the newest temporary exhibit at the Adventure Science Center, Animal Secrets. Panels guiding visitors through the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest creatures are bilingual, with text displayed in equal sizes in English and in Spanish.

Opening day activities are this Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. (make it a double-date with the kids before or after you visit the Celebrate Nashville event at Centennial Park -Ed.) and include special guests from The Elephant Sanctuary, Tennessee Beekeepers, Walden’s Puddle, Teddy’s Wagon from The Nashville Humane Association and myotonic (fainting) goats from The Fernhill Fainters. The Nashville Zoo will provide a special live demonstration at 12:30 p.m.  Hands-on activities will give visitors a chance to explore the butterfly life cycle, match paw prints to their owners and create animal masks to take home.

On and beyond opening day, the exhibit itself will immerse children in questions about animals and their lives. Where does a chipmunk sleep? What does an eagle feed its young? How do mother bats find their babies in a cave? How high can deer jump? Animal Secrets uses imaginative role-play and hands-on activities to answer these and other questions by exploring nature from an animal’s point of view. The exhibit features five naturalistic environments:

  • The Stream: An interactive stream table and its surrounding environment immerse visitors in a dry streambed.  Examine a detailed, colorful mural for clues about animal homes and behaviors, and then incorporate your findings into play and building activities.  
  • The Woods: Explore how a variety of animals, including birds, mammals, amphibians, and insects, might forage for food and build their homes in trees. 
  • The Meadow: Follow four winding sets of animal tracks through the meadow mural to discover which animal made them.  Use your listening skills and match each animal to its respective croak, song, or quack. 
  • The Cave: Explore the unfamiliar environment of a dark woodland cave. Activate your senses of sight, hearing, and touch to learn more about cave dwellers as well as cave visitors. 
  • The Naturalists’ Tent: Young explorers can role-play working as a naturalist in a canvas tent outfitted with real field to examine fascinating plant, animal, and mineral specimens using a variety of tools.  
“Children are born curious. They love learning about bugs and animals, investigating what lies hidden beneath a rock or a pile of leaves and exploring the world around them,” said Susan Duvenhage, CEO of Adventure Science Center. “Animal Secrets provides a wonderful opportunity for parent-child interaction as, together, they play, observe, pretend, explore and investigate the sometimes hidden world of our animal friends.” 
Animal Secrets is included with regular admission to Adventure Science Center, which is $12 for adults; $10 for children ages 2 to 12 and seniors 65+. Certified TN teachers (with school ID) are free. For more information about these and other exhibits, visit

Animal Secrets was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon. The exhibit was made possible with funds provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Additional support provided by the Collins Foundation and Meyer Memorial Trust.

About Adventure Science Center
For 65 years, Adventure Science Center has brought science to life for students, teachers and families in Middle Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, Northern Alabama and beyond. The Center offers hands-on, interactive exhibits and engaging programs that encourage visitors of all ages to explore how science is relevant in their lives. Adventure Science Center encourages imagination and curiosity in a fun, dynamic learning environment. Adventure Science Center is located at 800 Fort Negley Boulevard. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults; $10 for children ages 2 to 12 and seniors 65+. Certified TN teachers (with school ID) are free. For more information, call (615) 862-5160 or visit our web site at

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