Raleigh, N.C. — When the new wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences opens in a few weeks, visitors will find a lot of cutting-edge technology, including two high-tech tables.
The museum’s Nature Research Center has about 10,000 specimens on display, and about 100 of them will have a little tag attached. Visitors can put the tag on a table, and all the information about the specimen will show up on a touchscreen.
“If you want to find out where the animal lives, the range map comes up,” said John Connors, coordinator of the museum’s Naturalist Center.
Scientists at the museum spent the past year compiling the information. Visitors can press a button and learn all about the specimen. They can also watch video clips and listen to audio of stories about research projects, some of which the museum's own scientists have done.
“It’s like going through a book, but it’s more interesting,” Connors said. “There's a whole new level of information they can get, which they couldn't get just by touching and observing.”
The Nature Research Center opens April 20, with a 24-hour celebration starting at 5 p.m. The museum will close, beginning April 8, to prepare for the grand opening.