Our World helps children develop a life-long curiosity about the world and cultures that surround them. Best suited for children ages 3 to 8, the exhibit introduces visitors to the responsibilities and rewards of both global and community citizenship through three key areas: Map Zone, My Town and World Cultures. Children are encouraged to think about the similarities and differences among our global societies and explore the various roles they may play or encounter in their communities, such as family members, friends, neighbors, students, team members and citizens.
The Museum’s Map Zone helps give children a global perspective of the world surrounding them. A giant floor map immediately orients children to where they are in the world. Interactive touch screens and giant atlases help visitors discover and appreciate the world’s physical structure and organization as they learn how distance, climate, natural resources and other factors all contribute to cultural diversity. Children will also have an opportunity to pinpoint different locations, anticipate climate effects and discover the increasing vulnerabilities of our natural environment. Within the Map Zone's "Pack Your Bag” exhibit, an airport luggage carousel introduces visitors to the different reasons people travel and demonstrates that what people pack is determined by the type of environment they will visit.
My Town demonstrates how humans connect to everything and everyone in the towns in which they live. In My Town, visitors can test and improve their skills of being responsible citizens who are actively engaged in their various communities: home and family, friends and neighborhood and town and country. Children can explore:
The World Cultures area celebrates cross-cultural awareness and interaction, allowing visitors to discover and explore different pieces of our cultural mosaic and how geographic factors shape the differences between us. These cultural aspects culminate in a simulated marketplace from one specific country – starting with Tanzania – that periodically changes to represent different cultures. The exhibit features sample homes and shelters from regions; a kitchen area highlighting different foods and preparation methods; an interactive clothing store with traditional clothing from various cultures; arts and crafts activities; transportation, including a tuk-tuk that “transports” visitors to different locales; and a language area that showcases different types of writing and listening.