Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure, a new exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, offers an interactive introduction to evolution
October 6, 2012–May 12, 2013
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Travel to the Age of Dinosaurs with Charlie as he searches for the origins of his favorite bird—the flightless kiwi—in Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure, on view at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, October 6, 2012–May 12, 2013. Designed for ages seven and up, Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure explores the science behind evolution. This bilingual exhibition features ten interactive exhibits, including a story theater, discovery area, and live birds, that introduce the basics of evolutionary biology—in English and Spanish! Play games and participate in other inquiry-based activities that enhance understanding of evolutionary concepts while providing meaningful, hands-on, minds-on play.
Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure is presented locally by Commonwealth Connections Academy and is a project of the Center for Evolutionary Studies.
The exhibition tells the story of a boy named Charlie who is writing a report on the kiwi. During a dream, he “travels” back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs with his great-great-great-great grandfather to discover and understand the origins of kiwis and other birds from their dinosaur ancestors, looking for evidence along the way.
The exhibition is arranged as a three-part experience: Start in the story theater to view the evidence supporting the evolution of dinosaurs into modern birds: bones of a Bambiraptor (a dinosaur), an Archaeopteryx (one of the first birds), and a modern crow. Then, learn why the birds we see today are all so different from each other by exploring the exhibits. Observe the effects of natural selection by examining a group of live budgies—all of the same species—and noting differences in color and in shapes and sizes of beaks, legs, and feet. Finish your journey in the discovery area that provides boxes for further exploration into evolutionary topics through games and puzzles.
Charlie and Kiwi’s Evolutionary Adventure, funded by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation, is a project of the New York Hall of Science, the University of Michigan, the Miami Science Museum, and the North Museum of Natural History & science.
The Center for Evolutionary Studies
The Center for Evolutionary Studies is based on the idea that evolution is not trivial, but fundamental to the modern world; evolution is the single unifying concept that provides a framework for understanding successes in all sciences. The Center supports scientific research exploring the theory of evolution, the observable evidence that supports it, and the scientific questions and debates that are taking place at the edge of exploration about the mechanisms of evolution and its consequences. Through public programming and gallery enhancements, the Center also introduces museum visitors to implications that they may not have considered, such as the effects of evolution on energy, agriculture, genetics, and medicine, or its past and present relationships to species loss, climate change, plate tectonics, and continental drift. The Center for Evolutionary Studies was launched in August 2012 and is under the direction of K. Christopher Beard.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website, www.carnegiemnh.org.