Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"Discovering Chimpanzees: The Remarkable World of Jane Goodall" - Children's Museum of Indianapolis - March 16, 2005 - 3 1/2 stars

Jane Goodall once remarked, "Researchers ... don't want to admit that they [animals] might have minds and personalities because that would make it quite difficult for them to do what they do ..." You will likely share her sentiment upon experiencing this exhibit. It's important for children to get familiar with their fellow inhabitants on the Earth and learn to appreciate them; it's necessary for parents to get a reminder also. This exhibit brings Goodall's work with chimps in Gombe to light. It's irrelevant that the exhibition quality isn't quite up to snuff; it successfully engages the audience with hands-on activities like chimp arm extenders so you can walk like a chimp through the forest staged in the center of the exhibit. What better way to gain appreciation for the intellectual capacity of this primate than by being able to climb into one of its nests or learn how to "talk" as they do. A Gombe chimp family timeline showing family relationships between chimps, family structure and genealogy is a powerful component that may inspire a new generation to be conscious of environment and social issues. Visit to preview the exhibition. Through May 30, 2005; 317-334-3322. -Mary Lee Pappas

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