Explore Hidden Worlds of Wonder, and Ignite Your Curiosity on the Science Learning Campus
Wednesday, May 6, 2020, written by Shelby Dobson, photographed by Mika Miller
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be among the smallest creatures on the planet? The size of an insect? Or what about even smaller than that? The first section of the Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza will invite guests to explore “Hidden Worlds of Wonder.”
First, encounter a Tardigrade, also known as a Water bear. They range in size from .05 to 1.2 millimeters and prefer to live on moss or other wet habitats. They can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh environmental conditions. They can even live without food for 30 years – yes, years!
Next, meet a mite. Most mites are smaller than one millimeter. Some live in water, some live in the ground, and others live on plants, and others are a parasite – living on humans or other mammals. Most parasitic mites are harmless, but they can cause allergies or sometimes spread disease.
Then, discover a strange-looking creature: the Star-nosed mole! They are known for their pink tentacles that make up the star-shape of their nose. They live mostly underground in moist soil. Because they are mostly blind, they rely on their unique nose and other senses to survive. The mole sculpture is an interactive experience; children will be able to feel different objects without seeing them, and experience what it’s like to be a Star-nosed mole!
The Curiosity section also includes an area focused on science through art. There is a rock art garden and musical instruments for children to play.
In the Curiosity area, you’ll also discover a giant microscope, where you can look at microscope slides of the invisible world that exists all around us. Then slide down the play slide as you head to your next discovery in the Rio Tinto Kennecott Plaza!
Learn more about the Science Learning Campus expansion here.