Video games and cartoons take up a lot of children’s time, and the C.R. Smith Museum’s newest exhibit, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action is out to combat childhood inertia. The exhibit, opening January 31 and running through May 9, invites children and adults to explore activities such as kung fu, surfing, snowboarding, yoga and horizontal climbing. The primary goal of the exhibit is to get kids into action by playing and doing things they like to do.
Featuring the theme of action adventures popular in children’s books and movies, the homegrown exhibition invites visitors to jump into action star training – play activities that builds strength, coordination, balance and endurance.
Cultural spotlights and real-life stories of young people and families who are passionate about a particular activity aim to deepen visitors’ motivation about fitness. As visitors move through the exhibit and have fun with physical activity, they will get ideas for how they can become more active daily.
Throughout the exhibit, kids and accompanying adults stamp the activities they tried on Action Trackers. Visitors can also take home Action Tracker 3-Day Missions – activity logs that encourage people to get physically activity for a total of 60 minutes a day. The exhibit aims primarily at children ages 5-12, while children 2-5 will also be able to join in the fun at many of the activities. Additionally, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action developers worked to make the exhibit activities accessible to visitors with varying physical abilities and developmental needs.
Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action features four adventure scenes and an action star training center. Each adventure scene provides an imaginative setting in which kids can try out a high appeal physical activity and highlight a specific physical challenge of balance, strength, coordination or cardiovascular endurance.
Surfing and Snowboarding (Balance): Visitors don Hawaiian shirts or down-style vests, choose one of four balance boards – two basic and two advanced – and see how long they can stay on for the ride. A motion sensor triggers a two-minute video sequence that takes the riders through pine trees and past lakes as they snowboard down a mountain. Then the video takes the riders off the edge of a cliff and sailing into the clouds before landing as surfers in the ocean. The activity challenges and builds the riders’ balance.
Kung Fu Forest (Coordination): Visitors enter a clearing in a bamboo forest and begin the kung fu session with a bow to show the three principles of kung fu: strength, peace and respect. Three lantern posts display instructional images of kung fu animal stances – still, “ready” positions inspired by the rooster, the snake and the tiger. After visitors try the animal stances, they can push a button to trigger a sequence of lightbox images that
guide the participant from still poses into a flow of action. The panels also illustrate the
cultural origins of kung fu and other martial arts.
Climbing Canyon (Strength): A trailhead marker introduces four different trails: the Toddler Trail, Beginners’ Bend, Rugged Ridge and the Extreme Expanse. Visitors of varying skill and ability levels successfully traverse the trails to safely explore a cave holding a hidden treasure. Hand and footholds guide the visitors across the horizontal walls. The climbing canyon shows visitors how lifting and holding up their own body weight is a valid strength-building activity.
Flycycle Sky (Endurance): Visitors merge their imagination with physical activity when they strap on a bike helmet and climb on one of the Museum’s flycycles. These stationary bikes with wings or propellers each face a cloud-shaped panel. For every few rotation of the wheels, a star lights up in the sky. The flycycles vary in form: one is a tandem bike with a recumbent seat in front, an upright in back and two pairs of wings above; another is a hand-pedaled chariot with an overhead propeller.
Action Star Training (Balance, Strength, Coordination, Cardiovascular and Muscular Endurance): The action star training center provides visitors with challenges of balance, strength, coordination and cardiovascular and muscular endurance through simple activities that kids can do at home.
• At the Yoga Station, visitors try out the tree pose and the cat stretch, as well as learn the origins of yoga.
• At the Strength Center, a kid-friendly interpretation of gym equipment, visitors experiment with upper- and lower-body strength. They can try out monkey bars, leg presses, self-weighted rowers, and adaptive chin-ups.
• In the Dance Club, visitors choose dance moves and music to get their heart pumping, going freestyle or following the dancer on the screen.
Toddler Pyramid: The toddler pyramid offers the youngest visitors a separate place to experiment with physical activity away from the thick of the action. With adventure-theme flair, the Toddler Pyramid features toddler-sized steps, a climbing net and a slide. It emphasizes that you are never too young to be physically active.
The C.R. Smith Museum takes visitors on a flight through American Airlines history, with interactive exhibits that entice participation by all age groups. The museum features hundreds of historical artifacts, photographs, full-scale aircraft engines and a rare Douglas DC-3 airliner. In addition, the museum's state of the art 4K digital theater features Pursuit of Flight, a film, featuring the history and physics of aviation from ancient times through today