Going on NOW at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is Fore! The Planet, a fun, family-friendly exhibition that connects concern for the environment with the game of miniature golf. This thought-provoking and sports-oriented experience match facts about conservation, food chains, water resources, and a host of other natural phenomena with a golfer’s skill and problem-solving ability.
Along the fairway, at successive holes, participants face fresh sets of challenges. Competitors are tasked with working through solutions to well-known ecological problems.
“From greenhouse gasses and global warming to wildlife conservation and delicately balanced ecosystems, the impact of humans on the planet has been significant,” notes Vice President of Education Dawn Kirchner. “With thousands of species on the brink of extinction worldwide, there are many pressing ecological concerns that are actively being researched by scientists in the field, and this exhibition allows families to work together to explore the natural world and those issues.”
As golfers progress throughout the course and meet new challenges, they learn about issues related to evolution, dinosaur extinction, butterfly metamorphosis, food chains and more. The more they learn about the subject at each hole, the better they play.
Among other topics explored in Fore!The Planet are natural selection, backyard ecosystems, predator and prey, and recycling, to name a few. This innovative interactive display explores details of the potential damage wrought by both ecological disasters and natural phenomena.“As they play, the golf ball simulates many adventures, from mimicking a house fly on its way to a picnic lunch to demonstrating the challenges faced by a spawning salmon. There’s even a section on where trash goes and the impact it has on the environment – and on us,” says Kirchner.
– An example of a challenge at one hole is; BUTTERFLY LIFE CYCLE – All butterflies live their lives in four stages – a life cycle. Putt the ball through each stage of a butterfly’s METAMORPHOSIS. The stages the directions depicted are; the EGG, the CATERPILLAR, the PUPA, and finally, the BUTTERFLY.
– Another hole poses the query SEED DISPERSAL – Your ball represents the seed from the fruit of a tree. Feed the ball to the CASSOWARY, the WILD PIG, or the PARROT. Which animal do you think will best disperse the seed?
As players are discovering important facts about the natural world, they are also learning to avoid hazards presented in the exhibition. As a result, guests play the game more skillfully. The reward, as in every game of golf, is to finish the hole with fewer strokes.
Or maybe even see who can get a hole in one!
For an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating time, visit Fore! The Planet at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, now until August 27. About the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Located at 2600 DeWeese Parkway, the Boonshoft Museum is open to the public 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and 12 noon-5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $14.50 adults, $12.50 seniors (60+), and $11.50 for children (3-17). Children under 3 and members are free. (937) 275-7431.