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Exhibit shows how Idaho evolved

The Idaho Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibit had its grand opening this weekend.

Titled “Evolving Idaho,” the exhibit aims to educate visitors about evolution’s basic concepts by using the Gem State’s animal and plant life as its examples. The exhibit pulls in research from a number of ISU faculty.

“The exhibit consists of the five major themes that have to do with the process of evolution and the patterns that are produced by evolution,” said Rick Williams, the museum’s life sciences division head.

“Evolving Idaho” also has an 100-foot-long timeline running through the whole exhibit. It highlights the Earth’s entire evolutionary history and ends with a “tree of life” that showcases the relationships of all living things.

The grand opening featured experts from different organizations to give visitors hands-on demonstrations of what they see. While the experts aren’t permanent fixtures in the exhibit, that doesn’t mean there’s no interactivity.

It’s hard not to notice the number of “interactive” stickers plastered throughout the exhibit. From a microscope to a touch table that lets you play evolution-related games.

It’s these interactive elements that have Ann Marie Phillips and her daughter, Rachel Phillips, wanting to tell others to visit “Evolving Idaho.”

“There are a lot of activities for kids to do and that made it really fun,” said Ann Marie Phillips. “They can really learn hands-on, it sinks in better when you do it hands-on.”

The Idaho Museum of Natural History is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission ranges from $1 to $5.

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