"We're hoping to ignite and inspire young people and their parents," says Nona Gandelman, a spokeswoman for the Maryland-based Jane Goodall Institute USA. "To show kids that learning through the natural world and the animal world can be fun."
Geared toward ages six and up, the 75-minute interactive Roots & Shoots features a sing-along and a teen question-and-answer panel with Goodall, who will also teach kids how to walk and talk like chimpanzees. "The whole purpose of Roots & Shoots is to create informed citizens, and the best place to start is with young people," says Gandelman. "The kids love to be involved. It empowers them while also teaching them." The show will be followed by a book signing with Goodall.
And while the forests of Tanzania are thousands of miles away, starting Friday visitors will be able to wander through the new 6,000-foot DMNS exhibit on Goodall, which includes a re-creation of her original research-station tent in Gombe National Park and a chimp forest, among other things. "It's a really interactive exhibit," says Julia Taylor, a spokeswoman for the museum, which will house the travelling exhibit until June 8. "You can even crawl into a chimp's nest."
In conjunction with the exhibit, the IMAX Theater will screen Goodall's new film, Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees, and the museum will present an ongoing series of lectures and events with scientists and filmmakers.
"There is so much that we can learn from Jane and her studies," says Taylor. "It's important to help spread her message to the next generation."