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'Identity: An Exhibition of You' opens May 22 at Science Center

Posted: May 11, 2009 5:23 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2009 5:17 p.m.

LOS ANGELES -- Hair color, sense of humor, friends -- what are you made of? Explore how the physical, psychological and social elements in your life unite in "Identity: An Exhibition of You."

This interactive exhibit takes the ground-breaking science behind identity and makes it personal, using art, stories and even the work of an Emmy Award-winning musician to create an engaging journey through the science of human identity; challenging us all to see ourselves from a different perspective. Identity opens at the California Science Center May 22 and runs through Sept. 8.

The exhibit explores the physical, psychological and social elements in life that make people tick. Each area of the exhibition will feature vignettes along with a variety of interactive activities including fingerprint comparisons and personality analysis.

Visitors start their journey by taking a new look at the most familiar aspect of identity: their physical selves. Physical traits and genetic inheritance are explored -- from guests combining genes in a computer interactive exhibit, playing the game "Family Match-Up" to find out who belongs in which family, or stepping into a booth to look at their future selves -- and seeing how the choices they make today can impact their identity tomorrow.

Differences in brain chemistry, brain structure, brain activity and even gender can impact thought. Visitors are challenged to make choices about their personality and explore exhibits that transform their personal qualities into interactive experiences.

Guests can explore how smells tell them something about themselves, or "hear" their personality in an open-ended musical art piece designed by an Emmy Award-winning musician.

They can "touch" the brain and activate a video that explains what that part of the brain does -- and what happens to their identity when something goes wrong. Visitors will learn about the differences gender brings to the brain, beginning in the womb.

To explore social identity visitors can step onto a "dance floor" and enter a playful, group experience about their personal space.

Further in, they will discover what kind of groups they identify with and challenge their assumptions about what people are really like. Visitors can take a digital photo and change their gender/ethnicity on a computer, or take a spin on the "Who Shares Your Skin" wheel, to see who else in the world shares their skin color.

Finally, they can take a "rapid implicit association test" designed to probe for biases or find out if they are a science or humanity person. The answers might be surprising!

Identity was developed by The Franklin institute for the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative. Funding was provided by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. After Identity leaves Los Angeles, it will travel to Ft. Worth, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Boston; St. Paul and many others.

About the California Science Center
The California Science Center's mission: "We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives."

General info
The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. General admission is free.

IMAX ticket prices range from $4.75 to $8.00.Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th Street at $8 per car, $10 for buses or oversized vehicles. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible.


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