Unlock The Code

Science City

Kansas City, Missouri

Battle of the Brains was developed in 2011 and funded by the Burns & McDonnell Foundation to address the declining number of students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Science City at Union Station was selected as the initial beneficiary of the program. From the hand painted aquifer to the interactive sand table, these educational components will keep you mesmerized throughout the exhibit. Don;t forget to look up and study the 80 handcrafted Suspended Water Molecules. They create a one of a kind lighting system which is sure to give a new perspective on H2O. From the DNA Dance-Off and Duplication Station to Try-a-Trait and Trait Tree, visitors will experience the human genome one cell at a time.Unlock the Code is an exhibit focused on genetics, specifically how DNA shapes who we are.  At the entrance you are greeted with a 10 foot tall double helix fabricated from rolled aluminum tube.  The helix unfolds at the top and snakes around the top of the curved walls.  We took laser scans of the space to ensure the formed aluminum would fit.  

This space is packed with technology.  Towards the back of the room is the “DNA Dance Off” game.  This exhibit features a hand built LED screen with large 3 inch square pixels.  Touch sensitive pads are embedded in the floor as a game controller.  The goal is to match pairs of nucleic acid (colored blocks) to build a sequence of DNA faster than your opponent.  

One other high tech exhibit is “Try on a Trait” in which utilizes a camera and touch screen.  The camera tracks the users face and they can change their hair color, add freckles, and modify other features of their face.