In the Exhibit
Harsh realities of climate change are confronting our environment, and the Green Revolution exhibit is a call to action. Visit the exhibit to learn about ways to save our planet and resources for future generations:
What is your Carbon Footprint?
A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact that human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. In Green Revolution, you can measure your own carbon footprint through a computer-based interactive. Learn your personal impact on the environment by answering a series of questions and once complete, you'll be given personalized tips to go green and become more eco-friendly.
Waste Not! The Story of Recycling
On average, most people generate four-and-a-half pounds of waste every day. Did you know that paper makes up more than 37 percent of all total waste? Or that the energy saved from recycling one aluminum can could run a television for three hours? In the exhibit, you will encounter stations filled with materials that have been recycled or that are highly recyclable. The importance of recycling has been stressed for years, but now more than ever it is crucial that we become more conscious of our consumption habits.
Renewable Energy … The Way of the Future
A major component of the real "green revolution" will be to find alternative sources of energy to power our homes, cars and favorite entertainment systems. Renewable energy, or a source of energy that can never be exhausted, is one of the solutions we can look to implement. We can obtain renewable energy from the sun (solar energy), from the water (hydropower), from the wind (from windmills or wind turbines), from hot dry rocks, magma, hot water springs (geothermal) and even from firewood, animal manure, crop residues and waste (biomass).
Try your hand at creating your own renewable energy at the interactive wind turbine station. In the center of the table is a large model turbine, surrounded by smaller wind turbine stations. With the help of a hose that blows bursts of wind, activate the smaller turbines to power an LED light, lift an object up from the table or pump water through a tube. Each of the smaller stations are constructed using recycled materials such as PVC pipes, used two-liter soda bottles or restaurant cups to further drive home the message of recycling.
In May 2008, the Museum of Science and Industry premiered the exhibit Smart Home: Green + Wired—a three-story, fully functional home, made from earth-friendly materials and outfitted with energy-saving "smart" technologies. While the Smart Home was the first fully functional "green" home to be placed on display as an exhibit, the concept of "green" or hybrid homes is quickly becoming popular in the residential marketplace.
In this section of Green Revolution, you will learn about the technologies that go into making a green house not only energy-efficient but also stylish and comfortable. Examples of local Chicago homes such as the Hybrid House I—built by Julian Dawson and the African American Home Builders Association—will be displayed along other commercial-grade properties. This section of the exhibit resembles a cut-away of a real green house, equipped with solar panels on the roof top, a rain-catching barrel by the drainage pipe and a small sustainable garden and landscape. The inside of the mock green house features photos and diagrams of other green buildings, with literature available to take home about making homes more eco-friendly.
African Americans in Agriculture
This farming timeline pays homage to the African Americans who helped to revolutionize different aspects of farming and agriculture throughout the world. In this section you will find information about people like George Washington Carver, an early 20th century botanist and inventor whose studies and teaching revolutionized agriculture in the United States. Other subjects include Oliver Golden—a student of Carver's and pioneering agronomist who developed a new method of cultivating cotton in Russia in the 1930s.
This solar powered racetrack provides a great example of how we can create our own energy to provide power for some of our basic necessities—or for a little fun. Hop on one of four bicycles and your pedaling will power a lamp positioned just above the track. As the lamp brightens, the light shines upon mini-solar panels affixed to the top of a toy car. Once the solar cells are exposed to the light, they power a small engine that allows the toy to zip across the track. The more you pedal, the farther the car will travel.
In this section of the exhibit, dig in firsthand and examine how a worm-composting bin–with real dirt and worms—can turn everyday waste into nutrients to make rich soil ideal for gardening. Learn the science behind growing flourishing flowers and nutritious vegetables, and pick up your very own planting kit, equipped with seeds and instructions on how to start your own garden at home.
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