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The Children’s Museum Goes Polar!


Related: PNC Foundation Funds Major Renovation at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis / IMLS Awards $19.5 Million in Museums for America Grants to 178 Institutions

As the weather is getting ready to cool down outside, inside The Children’s Museum it is getting a whole lot colder – polar in fact! Opening Oct. 9, the new exhibit Polar Bears to Penguins invites children and families to explore the polar extremes and learn about the ways these two geographic opposites play a role in our environment – even here in the Midwest!

Polar Bears to Penguins takes children and their families from one end of our globe to the other to explore the fascinating (and cold!) worlds of the Arctic and Antarctic. The “tip of the iceberg” best describes how much most people know and understand about our Earth’s polar regions and Polar Bears to Penguins offers museum visitors an opportunity to explore the fascinating and unique nature of the Earth’s polar regions, the current science being undertaken there and these regions as indicators of climate change. 

Visitors will learn about the ways in which the Arctic and Antarctic regions look the same, but are home to very different animals, plants and people. Visitors can begin their exhibit journey in the Arctic where they will learn about animal and human adaptations to live in this environment. Children and their families can take part in Arctic activities such as comparing their weight to a polar bear, meeting the Arctic animals and learning about living in the Arctic. In the Arctic Animal quiz, visitors will use real specimens to find out which Arctic whale has a tusk and which Arctic animal has the most hair. Animations of seasonal movement of sea ice show visitors how climate change in affecting the Arctic landscape. 

In the Antarctic areas of the exhibit, children will be able to pull on a penguin suit and walk and slide like a penguin. In the Penguin Lab, visitors will study penguin feathers, check out a real penguin skeleton and learn what researchers are studying about penguin behavior – their feeding, their family life and their unique locomotion.

As an enhancement to the exhibit, The Children’s Museum will be featuring photographs from artist and photographer J.J. L’Heureux. Over the course of six expeditions to the Antarctic, Ms. L’Heureux has compiled an extensive collection of Antarctic photography focusing on Antarctic animals in their environment. Visitors to the Polar Bears to Penguins exhibit will be able to view Ms. L’Heureux’s penguin photography from her published books. 

This 6, 000 square-foot traveling exhibit was developed and produced by Science North, Sudbury, Canada, and funded by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Government of Canada through FedNor and the Canadian Heritage programs. Polar Bears to Penguins will be open through Jan. 2, 2011, at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. 

About The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. The 472, 900 square-foot facility houses 11 major galleries. Visitors can explore the physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures, the arts, see how dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago in Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World®, experience Dale Chihuly’s Fireworks of Glass and examine children’s impact in shaping history in The Power of Children: Making a Difference. The Children’s Museum, situated on 20 acres of land in Indianapolis, presents hundreds of programs and activities each year. For more information about The Children’s Museum in English and Spanish, visit

About Science North Enterprises

Science North, based in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, is a world-renowned science centre. Recognizing that there is a substantial external demand for its services, Science North launched Science North Enterprises in 1996. This thriving knowledge transfer enterprise is today leading the development of exhibits and attractions around the globe. It is responsible for marketing Science North’s expertise in exhibit planning, design and fabrication, multimedia production, consulting services and specialty venue films to science centres, museums, zoos, aquariums and visitor centres. Science North Enterprises has an international client list that includes both major public attractions and multinational corporations.

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