GERM THEORY: Smithsonian Exhibit Puts Microbes under the Microscope

By Goff, Karen Goldberg | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 30, 1999 | Go to article overview

GERM THEORY: Smithsonian Exhibit Puts Microbes under the Microscope


Goff, Karen Goldberg, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Bacteria are all around us. There are germs that help us live and fight disease, and there are some that threaten our health.

That is the message a new Smithsonian exhibition called "Microbes: Invisible Invaders . . . Amazing Allies" is trying to convey to children. The exhibit, which opened May 22 in the International Gallery at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, aims to teach school-age youngsters that learning about germs can be fun.

"We wanted to find a way to bring microbes to life," says Randall Kaye, a New York pediatrician who served as a consultant for the 5,000-square-foot exhibit, which is in Washington through Sept. 6 as part of an 11-city tour that ends in 2001. "It is hard to understand and appreciate what microbes are because you can't see them. Children should have fun at this exhibit, and maybe a few will be so interested they will become microbiologists."

The organizers of "Microbes" teach the science of germs through interactive areas where visitors can play a video game that fires ammunition (antibiotics) at invading bacteria or pit white blood cells against microbe invaders in a game of virtual reality that mimics the immune system.

"What is exciting about `Microbes' is that it is child-based," says Elly Muller, spokeswoman for the Smithsonian's Traveling Exhibit Service. "Most of the Smithsonian's exhibits are for general audiences. This is incredibly interactive and definitely lots of fun."

The visit to "Microbes" begins with a historical perspective of bacteria. Visitors walk through a replica of a skull-filled Paris catacomb, where a robotic guide explains the bubonic plague epidemic of 1400. The robot wears flowers and herbs, which were used then to protect people from disease, which they believed was caused by poison rising from the earth.

From there, visitors go to a replica of an Egyptian tomb and a photo of the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses V that shows pockmarks from smallpox, which is believed to have killed him in 1151 B.C.

"This part of the exhibit is to show that disease is nothing new," Dr. Kaye says. "It has been with us a long time."

The exhibit moves into modern times, starting with "Main Street North America," which chronicles the epidemics of polio, flu and tuberculosis that swept North America during the first half of this century. This section also features an iron lung, which was necessary for many polio survivors but is virtually obsolete today, and a video about the discovery and mass production of penicillin. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

GERM THEORY: Smithsonian Exhibit Puts Microbes under the Microscope
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.