If you live in Iowa, then you know that it almost impossible to escape the corn that surrounds us. Fields of corn line highways and it has even been prominently displayed in movies and documentaries. But how much do you really know about the corn that feeds and fuels us?
The Old Capitol Museum has had the pleasure of hosting a traveling exhibit called “Maize: Mysteries of an Ancient Grain” Based on this exhibit developed by the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York I can honestly say that I had no idea how aMAIZEing this plant is! The exhibit has been with the Old Capitol Museum since August and will, sadly, leave us in a few short weeks.
One of the things I found most interesting about the exhibit were the “What inspired me to become a scientist” panel adorning the walls. Reading these, you discover the variety of backgrounds and interests that drew so many different researchers to study maize.
The exhibit has great interactive areas that look at the evolution of maize, its past and present functions and threats to healthy maize development.
The teacher in me envisioned all kinds of connections to school curriculum from science and math to history, English and drama. I encourage visitors to check it out because it won’t be here very much longer. You can listen to Dr. Erin Irish on IPR discuss the impressive characteristics of corn and answers questions from listeners. I got a sneak peak a few weeks ago and was fascinated but how orderly those little stalks of corn are!
(What a CORNy picture!)