In one interactive exhibit, people flap their arms and sway their bodies to fly a bird on a screen. (credit: NASM)
By Jeff Foust, The Space Review
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) regularly opens new exhibits at its downtown Washington building, rotating in new artifacts and displays with specific themes, often for limited times. Last week, the museum opened its latest such exhibit, “Above and Beyond,” an interactive survey of the present and future of aviation and spaceflight, one intended for “visitors of all ages, but especially ages 7–14,” according to a museum statement.
It’s also, museum officials said, a glimpse at the museum’s future. “‘Above and Beyond’ is the most electronics-heavy exhibition ever housed at the National Air and Space Museum,” associate director Roger Launius said at a preview of the exhibit July 30. “As such, it will help shape the future of this particular museum.”
That “electronics-heavy” aspect of the exhibit is due to its interactive elements. In one, people stand on spots on the exhibit floor, moving their arms and swaying their bodies to control birds on screen. (That sounds a little ridiculous if you’re an adult, but fun if you’re in at least part of that 7–14 age group.) In another, people can design and fly jet fighters. And space isn’t forgotten, either: another feature is effectively a multiplayer video game, where people have to use the right tools to clean up orbital debris.
The exhibits don’t focus on just the positive aspects of aerospace. The orbital debris display discusses the threats posed by debris, including in gameplay itself: shoot a laser at a “large” piece of debris and you’ll lose points by creating more debris.
More - Link >>> http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2797/1
Source: The Space Review.
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