Did you know that Illinois was once located south of the Equator? Or that Illinois was once a tropical sea teeming with marine life? Ever wonder what life was like in Illinois millions of years ago? Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments allows visitors to travel into the past to see how Illinois has changed and how it continues to change today. A walk through the Changes exhibit is not just a learning experience; it’s an adventure through 500 million years of environmental change in Illinois. Become a scientist at the Changes Institute and travel through time, from the beginning of life on Earth to an era when American mastodonts roamed the Illinois landscape to the days of the first European explorers.
At Changes visitors will see, hear, and touch Illinois’ natural history through engaging hands-on interactive displays, audio and video effects, thousands of authentic fossils, and more. Marvel at all the strange and intriguing species that once inhabited Illinois through a multitude of life-size dioramas. Touch a beaver’s fur or the skull of a giant short-faced bear. Use your official Changes Institute membership card to receive weather reports from millions of years ago or hear the first-hand account of a European traveler journeying up the Illinois River. Travel through a mine, a glacier tunnel, and a cave. Push buttons to light up different species on display and pull out the illuminated drawers to test your own scientific knowledge and skills. Learn how human actions affect the environment and gain a deeper understanding of how evolution has affected life on earth since the beginning of time. People of all ages can see the changes for themselves as they travel through time and Illinois’ ever-changing environments.