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January 30, 2007
"Fuel for Thought" at Test Track
ALL EARS® Senior Editor Deb Koma writes: Imagine my surprise when I exited Test Track recently and discovered that there was a new exhibit, replacing the old spinning chairs that showed a commercial for General Motors.
The new exhibit, called "Fuel for Thought," features a variety of hands-on activities all geared to spotlighting alternative energy sources, such as fuel cell technology and ethanol E85 fuel. As you enter the area, you walk along the ""Live Green Go Yellow" path, which emphasizes the use of corn to create fuel by showing a field of cornstalks. There are neon-type glowing exhibits and touch-screen games with fun quizzes and info about hybrid vehicles and other energy/conservation activities that GM is involved with around the world. Mounted on one wall is a Chevy truck chassis -- you can see inside to learn how a two-mode hybrid engine works.
The main floor features a circular projection that changes based on your movement -- it starts out with an image of corn kernels that then begin to pop like popcorn while you walk around. There are also facts about E85 fuel projected around the area. Another focal point of the exhibit is an actual vehicle that is "FlexFuel E85 compatible" -- like the vehicles throughout the Test Track pavilion, you can sit in this car to check it out up close.
While this is a minor exhibit, and some kids may find it more educational than fun, it's an improvement over the GM cartoon that used to occupy this space.
Photos courtesy of Jack Spence: