Wild Minds–What Animals Really Think is a research-based traveling exhibition that explores animal cognition. The project will create a 1,500 square foot traveling exhibition with 15 – 20 exhibit components exploring aspects of animal cognition. The exhibition is designed for general audiences at five major science centers with zoo partners. The goal of the project is to foster a deeper understanding of similarities between people and animals in terms of cognition, i.e., how we think. Wild Minds will explore two interrelated hypotheses: (1) a deeper insight into how animals think will create or strengthen the awareness of an evolutionary link between animals and humans; and (2) that this sense of a strong connection can stimulate interest in the welfare of animals in the wild and in our homes.
The project will study cross-institutional programming strategies for zoos and science centers that will identify factors contributing to or inhibiting an integrated local informal science education infrastructure in a community. The project will also conduct exploratory research to identify the challenges and benefits encountered during collaboration between science centers and zoos, as well as investigating whether changes in awareness, understanding, and knowledge about action are sustained over time and/or lead to attitudinal change, behavioral intention, and observable behavior.
The project is a collaboration between the New York Hall of Science, the Institute for Learning Innovation, Hunter College of the City University of New York, and a consortium of five regional science center/zoo partnerships. Funding for Wild Minds is provided by the National Science Foundation; NSF DRL–0840160.
Wild Mind Resources