BYU Bean Life Science Museum unveils 2 student-led exhibits

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The BYU Bean Life Science Museum unveiled two new student-led exhibits, “Change the Climate” and “Understanding COVID-19.”

The museum has many exhibits for patrons to enjoy, according to Travis Schenck, BYU Bean Museum exhibit designer. He and his colleagues are currently developing new temporary student-driven exhibits.

The “Understanding COVID-19” exhibit explores the history of pandemics and takes a deep dive into questions surrounding the disease. The exhibit features the artwork of Utah artist Linda Barnes. Her “Quaran Team” display features human-like animals exploring the impact of the pandemic on their lives through watercolor visuals and haiku poems, according to Schenck.

Visitor Jackie Solis enjoyed the Utah Transit Authority bus design most. She mentioned the effectiveness of including interactive technology and engaging information, stating that the museum was an eye-catching and encompassing setting to her. “You feel like you’re in it,” she said.

The exhibit “Change the Climate” showcases solutions to current climate issues in hopes to improve the climate change situation. “By combining art and science, we’re able to communicate ideas about climate change,” Schenck said. 

As Schenck said, these exhibits are used as an opportunity to create science communicators of the future. BYU students were involved in the exhibit design process, helping transform the knowledge they learn in class to something that visitors can understand.

Emma Bringhurst, who visited the museum as a kid, said she enjoyed the “Cosmo’s Beastro” design the most because it helped her realize how much food affects the environment. She said she hopes to see more exhibit designs made out of second-hand materials.

Museum visitor Gwendolyn Heiner said she found the designs of plastic waste and compost interesting. She commented on the representativeness of the Y mountain made with recyclable material and was satisfied with her visit of the new exhibits.

Museum-lover Emily Quercia, said she decided to visit the BYU Bean Museum when it popped up on Google Maps. She stated low cost is one of the benefits of visiting small museums like the Bean Museum.  

She said the Bean Museum has a family-friendly atmosphere because the exhibits look “cartoonish,” which can help children understand the message and science behind the exhibits.

Schenck said one of the biggest challenges the Bean Museum has is making science understandable for everyone.

The Bean Life Science Museum staff discusses the exhibit plans for the future. Schenck said they want to make an important space for students. (Bella Li)

According to Schenck, the museum has considered displaying subjects such as neurodivergence and mental health, and hopes to have more student-led exhibits in the future.

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