Arts & Extras: Helmets Crash and Snakes Fly at Science Museum | Arts
“It’s really important for us to give kids exposure to the tools used in microbe research,” Hopkins said.
Founded by the National Science Foundation, the Microorganism Exhibit grew out of research into the effects of various microscopic entities on songbirds, led by Tech Biological Sciences professor Dana Hawley.
The new Virginia Tech exhibits provide information and photos from contributing scientists.
Upstairs, the experiences become even more dramatic.
Sporting (pun intended) a headline on the nose, “Virginia Tech Helmet Lab” is naturally related to the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, which conducts impact testing to determine the effectiveness of sports helmets.
“Kids all flock to this one because they can relate to it,” Hopkins said. A machine allows visitors to separate two football helmets and choose the speed at which they are going to crash. A nearby display explains the labs star rating system for helmet safety.
Before the headset lab, there was no room for testing, said Phyllis Newbill, associate director of education networks for the Center for Educational Networks and Impacts at Virginia Tech.
“The helmets were made as is, and there was no way for parents, coaches or anyone to know which helmet was better than another. You could pay more, but it might not be better, ”said Newbill, who is the academic liaison with the museum. Due to the testing and rating system, “helmet makers have made some changes and helmets are better now.”