This post is contributed by Geralyn Abinader, Creative Producer at the New York Hall of Science.
As the news of the COVID-19 outbreak began rippling through the news and social media, staff at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) recognized that we had a unique opportunity to provide a voice of scientific reason on the topic. Staff began talking about how, as a science institution, we could inform our audience about the topic of viruses while helping them navigate the barrage of conflicting information coming at them daily.
Last year, NYSCI launched a digital interactive comic on West Nile Virus called Transmissions: Gone Viral. The comic book focused on enabling readers to understand the scientific process–how to collect evidence and draw conclusions. We wanted to build off of this project, but knew we needed to get it done quickly to be effective for our visitors.
It was clear from the start that we could not keep up with the rapidly changing information about COVID-19 and its spread. But we knew that we could help people understand how viruses work and provide them with the language and information they need to decode the news.
We decided to develop an informative pop-up exhibition about viruses, how they work, and how to prevent their spread. Staff from the Science Department, along with Exhibition Experience and Services, Communications, Graphics and Production teams (and many more) mobilized to get the text panels written, designed, fabricated and installed in record time–in both English and Spanish.
NYSCI is pleased to offer these panels to our colleagues for use in their institutions. We have high resolution files available for your use. Please contact Geralyn Abinader at COVIDexh@nysci.org if you’re interested. We ask that you do not change the text as it represents the work of New York Hall of Science or remove our logo or that of our sponsor, New York Presbyterian. If you have questions, please contact Geralyn.
The original Transmissions: Gone Viral is available online at https://nysci.org/transmissions. We have an activity guide to accompany the online interactive comic and a downloadable print version (not interactive of course). You can learn more about Transmissions in this article from the November/December 2019 issue of ASTC’s Dimensions magazine.
The coronavirus exhibit is sponsored by New York–Presbyterian, Queens. This project and Transmissions: Gone Viral were created with support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 5 R25 GM129168. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.