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Koshland Science Museum Opens Life Lab Exhibit March 14

Amy Shaw, Koshland Science Museum
202-334-1201; e-mail Amy Shaw

Lorin Hancock , National Academy of Sciences
202-334-2183; e-mail Lorin Hancock

March 1 , 2012—WASHINGTON—The Life Lab, a new exhibit at the Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences, opens to the public on Wednesday, March 14. The exhibit encourages visitors to explore the science of growing up and to examine how the brain develops over time.

"The Life Lab gives people an entirely new way of understanding how their mind and body changes depending on their choices and circumstances," says Diane E. Griffin, co-chair of the committee that developed the exhibit, and professor and chair in molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. "The exhibit is immersive and entirely digital. We expect that it will be unlike anything that visitors have experienced before."

A variety of interactive experiences in the Life Lab enable visitors to learn how to keep their brain agile as they mature. Other activities include a digital brain game to learn how to grow a healthy mind; a 3-D visualization along with videos about how memories are made; and a driving simulator that tests players' ability to multitask and respond to distractions.

“People of every age have the opportunity to be featured in the exhibit by sharing their experiences about growing up,” adds Griffin. Visitors can make a video sharing their viewpoints and personal stories and submit it at the exhibit or online.

Reporters are invited to attend a media preview of the Life Lab on Thursday, March 8, from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Koshland Science Museum, 525 E St., N.W., Washington, D.C. Diane Griffin and Erika Shugart, who managed the exhibit development, will be available for tours and interviews. Advance registration is recommended to ensure that preferred tour times and individual requests can be accommodated. To register, contact the Koshland Science Museum or National Academy of Sciences' Office of News and Public Information.

The exhibit will kick off with a public program on Wednesday, March 14, from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Koshland Science Museum. The event, Science Café: Science of Sleep, will be co-hosted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Life Lab is based on reports from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, including: From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development; How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School; The Aging Mind: Opportunities in Cognitive Learning; When I’m 64; The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking; and Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society.

This exhibit is made possible in part through support from Award Number RC1LM010491 from the National Library of Medicine. The content does not represent the official views of the National Library of Medicine or National Institutes of Health.

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About the Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences
The Koshland Science Museum invites teens and adults to interact with the issues in a thought-provoking setting. Whether exploring on their own or with friends, visitors have the opportunity to use science to solve problems and to engage in stimulating conversations. The Koshland Science Museum is located at 525 E St., N.W., Washington, D.C.