A new exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History sends guests on an immersive roleplay adventure.
“Amazing Pollinators” is an interactive exhibit, available in both English and Spanish languages, where guests can navigate through a playable maze to learn about different pollinator groups. The exhibit opened Jan. 25 and will close Sept. 7.
It covers eight different pollinator groups such as bats, birds, bees, and butterflies.
“It was actually pretty neat,” said Simone Shamas, a 20-year-old UF psychology junior. “I didn’t expect the exhibit to be as big as it was.”
Guests can navigate through a maze with 48 missions depicting different pollinators, meet and learn about the pollinator groups and play themed parlor games such as shuffleboard and mancala.
“It was more collaborative than our temporary exhibits,” said Jonnie Dietz, museum exhibit developer. “Most of our traveling exhibits we find and book, and have them brought here, but with this exhibit, we actually took part in the content.”
Minotaur Mazes, a company that creates traveling exhibits, approached the museum with the idea of pollinators and asked the museum’s content developers to help. The content directors fact-checked to help the company put together a story. Dietz, who has been an exhibit developer for five years, has worked to create many of the exhibits at the museum.
Amazing Pollinators is more interactive than other exhibits, as guests can play it as a game, Deitz said. Guests take on the role as a pollinator using mission boards and solve puzzles and rack up points. There are two versions of the game: one intended for ages 9 and older and one for those younger than 9.
The version for older participants has different board games and guests still have to go into the different mission rooms and collect points. The version for younger ones is a more simplified matching game where the children must find the flowers in the maze.
For children younger than 6, there is a play area where children can dress up as pollinators, put on puppet shows and play matching games.
Admission to Amazing Pollinators is $8 for adults; $7 for Florida residents, seniors and college students; $5.50 for ages 3-17 and free to museum members and UF students with a valid Gator 1 Card.
Jim Grantham, right, tells stories about his floaty pen collection to evengoers during the 41st Collectors Day at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Collectors Day is the Museum’s longest running event and attracts regional collectors of a variety of objects such as potato mashers, model ships, pop-up books and trains, each year.