Jane Goodall Opens New Perot Museum Exhibit

Students from Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet Elementary School visited the new 'Becoming Jane' exhibit and got a chance to hear from Jane Goodall

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The Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened an exhibit titled "Becoming Jane" on Friday. "Jane" is primatologist Jane Goodall.

"It's morning for you. It's good evening for me," Goodall told students from Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet Elementary School via video conference.

Goodall moved to Africa to study chimpanzees, blazing a trail for women researchers.

"What made me want to go to Africa was when I read about Tarzan and the apes," Goodall said, telling students about her childhood influences. "Girls didn't do things like going to Africa, living with wild animals, and writing books about them. I didn't think about becoming a scientist. Girls weren't scientists."

"She shows that it can be done," said Linda Silver, Perot Museum of Nature and Science CEO. "She overcame so many difficult barriers to do the research that she needed to do in Africa, and she blazed a way for female researchers, but I also think she's changed science in general."

Goodall got close to her subjects and named them. Through that, she introduced the world to chimpanzees.

"They're the most like us," Goodall said. "They share 98% of our DNA."

The exhibit takes visitors on a journey through Goodall's life, from early childhood influences to how she has influenced conservation.

Students had a chance to ask questions to Goodall, among them 9-year-old Celeste Ortiz.

"My question is, um, what other animals do you think might need a hero like you," Ortiz asked Goodall. "They all need heroes," Goodall replied.

Goodall told NBC 5 it's important for young people to learn the importance of conservation now.

"Each one of us makes an impact every day, and we can choose what sort of impact we make," Goodall said. "Because we're close to a point of no return."

Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute to further causes of conservation. The organization has a youth offshoot called Roots and Shoots.

"Becoming Jane" runs at Perot Museum through Labor Day weekend.

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