For those who thought today's advanced technology and the advent of the Internet would kill many carefully spun hoaxes and myths, both new and ages old, from around the globe, the reality is just the opposite.
"Today's instant communication and the web just serve to spread these stories quicker than ever before, rather than to dispel them like you might expect," says Chris Wilson, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry director of exhibition project management and maintenance. "And everyone loves to be the first one to tell someone else something that's so amazing, it sounds unbelievable. And as you know, there are times when the reason it sounds so hard to believe is because it's not true."
Wilson is one of the exhibit developers working with Discovery Communications, the world's number one nonfiction media company, and Exhibits Development Group (EDG), in a partnership with MSI for the launch of MythBusters—The Explosive Exhibition, making its MSI debut March 15.
Just like Discovery Channel's Emmy-nominated series MythBusters, Wilson says the exhibition promises to uncover the truth behind popular myths by mixing scientific method with gleeful curiosity and old-fashioned ingenuity to create hands-on, interactive experiences for guests of all ages.
Now garnering a devoted fan base of TV viewers, MythBusters features cohosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman taking scientific investigation to exciting new levels by proving or exploding myths using their highly experimental approach and extensive backgrounds in special effects.
Both have been heavily involved throughout the development of the exhibition to allow guests what they describe as "a true MythBusting experience." "MythBusters fans continue to support the program and invite us into their homes season after season," Savage says.
"Now there's the opportunity for families to do their own 'MythBusting' in our first hands-on exhibit. We are excited to give guests a chance to enter our world and test our favorite myths in a live setting."
Guests will learn about myths, the MythBusters mission and experimenting while participating in a series of fun, hands-on experiences and live demonstrations. "We hope guests will come ready to bust a myth and explore science in a whole new way," Hyneman says.
Experiments will cover topics such as flight, friction, gravity, speed and combustion, with an 8,000-square-foot showcase that includes:
• Blueprint Room—Based on the real-life operations room of the iconic MythBusters set, this room acts as an introduction to the concept of questioning others' assertions, and is filled with gadgets, props, video and, of course, blueprints used by Adam and Jamie to explore myths on the show.
• Workshop—This is the place where guests turn into investigators and use real science to test myths. Is it true that an airplane won't be able to take off if it's on a conveyor belt running in the opposite direction? Will you get less wet if you run rather than walk in the rain? Is a house made of brick less likely to fall victim to wind than one made of sticks? These are just a few of the questions guests will be challenged to answer.
"To be able to witness the scientific excitement of MythBusters live is a rare and unique opportunity, and we are thrilled to bring this experience to the public," says Amy Noble Seitz, founder and CEO of Exhibits Development Group. "Supporting Discovery Channel, its talented team and the 'MythBusters' themselves on the debut of their first major traveling exhibition is an honor. We truly hope this exhibit will spur scientific curiosity, thought and experimentation for all ages."
The exhibition tour will visit leave Chicago and visit 14 additional cities within the U.S. and Canada. "We're thrilled to be the premiere site for this one-of-a-kind of exhibit experience," says David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. "The MythBusters share our vision of inspiring young people to achieve their full potential in science, and we're excited by this unprecedented collaboration with MythBusters, Discovery Channel, EDG and partners."