Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 23, 2007

Amazing Feats of Aging

Opens at the South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre

PIERRE, S.D. — On May 1 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. (CDT), the South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre (805 West Sioux Ave.) hosts the grand opening of a new, interactive science exhibit called the Amazing Feats of Aging, which answers questions on healthy aging and living longer as it attempts to unravel the mysteries of aging.

Amazing Feats of Aging is a 2,500-square-foot interactive exhibit exploring the science of aging, with special emphasis on healthy aging, how animals age, and the aging brain. The exhibit answers these questions and more:

  • Why do we age?
  • What happens to our bodies and brains as we age?
  • Is there anything we can do to prevent or slow down the process?
  • Which of our cells age the fastest?
  • How do our response times change with age?
  • What is the longest-lived animal species on the planet?

Amazing Feats of Aging includes information relevant to visitors of all ages. Older adults will find the exhibit especially interesting as it includes tips on how to keep your brain and body healthy as you age and information on how science is extending the average human life span.

Amazing Feats of Aging is presented in a colorful, carnival-themed atmosphere. Visitors are invited to “step right up” to a variety of hands-on activities in three thematic areas – Mysteries of Aging Revealed, The Amazing Aging Brain, and The Wild World of Aging. Exhibit highlights include an age machine where visitors can watch their faces age up to 25 years; “nickelodeons” to peer into for tips on healthy aging; and the comparison of a healthy brain tissue sample to one with Alzheimer’s. In the animal-related section of the exhibit, visitors place a series of creatures in order according to their life spans to discover which species lives the longest.

After viewing the exhibit, visitors leave knowing that aging is a gradual process, and how to live active and healthier lifestyles. There is no single answer or “cure” to avoiding aging, but there are many healthy choices that can lessen the effects of aging and help one to age gracefully. Visitors have until September 9, 2007, to take part in this wonderful and fun-filled learning opportunity.

About Amazing Feats of Aging:
Amazing Feats of Aging was created and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). The exhibit was developed by OMSI with the support of the Center for Healthy Aging at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and other experts from a diversity of fields in gerontology research and education. Amazing Feats of Aging was funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The exhibit’s national tour is sponsored by MetLife Foundation. Major underwriting provided by the South Dakota Department of Social Services and the Young Endowment, St. Mary’s Foundation, Pierre.

For more information, contact the following representatives below:

  • South Dakota Discovery Center:
    Contact Kristie Maher at 605-224-8295.
  • South Dakota Department of Social Services:
    Contact Emily Currey at 605-773-3165.
  • Young Endowment, St. Mary’s Foundation, Pierre:
    Contact Ellen Lee at 605-224-3451.