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Planet Golf:  Putt to Learn

October 2, 1999 -- January 2, 2000 
Tee off at Planet Golf, a playful miniature golf course that takes you on a fun-filled adventure through the natural world. And you don’t have to be Tiger Woods to get in on the action. Planet Golf provides fun for players of all abilities.  

For a modest $2.00 "greens fee," you can putt through an indoor, 18-hole miniature golf course. You’ll not only sharpen your golf game, but will learn about butterfly metamorphosis, recycling, water pollution, dinosaur extinction and other aspects of the Earth’s history and environment.  The "front nine" show you how nature works, and the "back nine" teach you about human interaction with the biosphere.
A wild and wooly version of a normally tame game,  Planet Golf tests players’ survival skills. Can you navigate through treacherous, polluted waters? Avoid the hungry jaws of a grizzly bear? 
You’ll also:

  • Travel the path of evolution, using your golf ball to select rainforest preservation or destruction. 
  • "Swim" upstream to a spawning ground with a Chinook salmon.

  • Discover the importance of "green corridors" in nature, which link wild spaces for animals.  
Ultimately, in Planet Golf—as in life—players face challenging obstacles in order to thrive. Planet Golf was created by the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, where it recently finished its first, and very popular engagement. 


A Bug’s Eye View

Experience life from the viewpoint of a roach with Bugbot, a state-of-the-art miniature robotic camera mounted inside a colony of ten Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches. 
A joystick maneuvers Bugbot around the cockroaches’ museum abode—a 12" x 24" aquarium. An enlarged image of the live roaches is projected on a screen, allowing the human viewer to see the world as these insects do. 
But why look at cockroaches? 
Cockroaches are living fossils—very similar to the ones that lived on Earth long before the dinosaurs. These wingless wonders in the exhibit, native to the island of Madagascar, have a characteristic hiss that wards off predators.
Bugbot is a product of a partnership between Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Toy Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in conjunction with the Human-Computer Interaction Institute.
The exhibit is free with museum admission.

Dippy the  Landmark 

"Dippy" became an instant Pittsburgh landmark when it was unveiled in July.   The world’s most accurate replica of the dinosaur Diplodocus carnegii  scores high every day as a destination for tourist buses,  school groups,  families, seniors, rubbernecking drivers on Forbes Avenue,  and snapshot artists who have to pose friends and family at the feet of this 84-foot long prehistoric giant. 

Back Issues
Copyright (c) 1999 CARNEGIE magazine 
All rights reserved. 
E-mail:   carnegiemag@carnegiemuseums.org