The New York Hall of Science working with the Association of Science-Technology Centers Traveling Exhibition Service proposes to develop test and nationally tour a 500 square foot hands-on exhibition and associated education materials for use by students teachers and families on AIDS and the human immune system. The program will be targeted at grades 6 – 12 and their families. It will be developed in year one and then toured in years two and three. One copy of the exhibition will be presented at the New York Hall of Science for the highly AIDS impacted metropolitan area. The other copy of the exhibition will tour to 10 museums nationally. Annual training for the touring sites will ensure that the exhibition and materials can be effectively utilized in conjunction with existing education and science career programs in each city. It is stated that the exhibition and education materials will improve the public understanding of contemporary science and medicine by communicating one essential component of twentieth century biology seldom presented to the public: the fundamentals of microbiology underlying the much-discussed AIDS epidemic. Learning objectives designed for age appropriateness include: (1) to understand the nature of HIV and the difference between testing positive for HIV antibodies and having AIDS; (2) to understand the operation of healthy and infected immune systems; (3) to understand what behaviors result in the spread of HIV and (4) to understand how people can prevent infection. In order to ensure effectiveness in meeting these goals an independent evaluator will be employed in year one to evaluate each stage of the exhibition in formation and then in year two to produce summative evaluation for dissemination to the health and museum education fields.
Three years of support is requested by the New York Hall of Science (NYHS) to create two electronic versions of the current AIDS Exhibition one for CD-ROM and the other for the World Wide Web (WWW) with appropriate resource guide and traveling kiosk version. It is expected that these products would be disseminated to a greater audience than the traveling exhibition “What About AIDS?’ The NYHS has been a leader in producing and distributing science exhibits and there is every reason to believe that they will be just as successful with the proposed electronic versions. The exhibit is interactive and presents many aspects of science through the study of AIDS. An extraordinary amount of time went into the preparation of this exhibit to insure accuracy and clarity. This exhibit would have a long “shelf-life” in educating new generations of children and adults.