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Exploration of Gender, Ethnicity, and Identity in New Exhibit

By Kerri Provost

January 17, 2013

A man recently told me that Bill Clinton’s magnetism was due to the former president’s more-symmetrical-than-average face. Males, he said, who have asymmetrical features often compensate by growing moustaches.

If you have ever wondered about how balanced your own facial features are, you can find out in the Connecticut Science Center‘s new traveling exhibit, Identity: An Exhibition of You. Carefully center your face on a grid, click a button, and then see what you would look like if your face were perfectly symmetrical.

The new exhibit goes beyond checking balance. You can view your fingerprints up close, investigate where people with a skin tone similar to yours live, and see how you might look in the future if you skip the sunscreen or decide to take up smoking.

As fun as this exploration is, the age progression activity is one Real Hartford recommends only for children, those who lack vanity, or those who have already accepted Botox as part of their future.

Matt Fleury, Connecticut Science Center President and CEO, called this a “thinker of an exhibit.”

Interactive activities challenge visitors to think about assumptions they may make about gender, particularly in relation to career fields. Visitors can also explore how much weight they place on ethnic identity while considering how psychological and social identities are formed.

Connecticut Science Center visitors can determine whether they are traditional or innovative based on scent preferences, so wait until the sinuses are clear before making the trip downtown.

A simple visual assessment can show to what degree someone is an introvert or extrovert; our results from the exhibit’s simple test matched those received after taking a much longer, more complicated test online.

After figuring out one’s intro/extrovert status, there’s a dance floor on which to celebrate.

To kick off the exhibit presented by CPTV and Travelers, Hartford’s Cultural Dance Troupe of the West Indies added vibrancy with drumming and dance.

The exhibit runs from January 18-April 21, 2013 and is included with general admission.

The Connecticut Science Center is located at 250 Columbus Boulevard.

Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford. To view other stories on this topic, search RealHartford at http://www.realhartford.org/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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