Denver Museum of Nature and Science Expedition Health Exhibition Wins Two National Awards in One Week

DENVER-October 4, 2010-The Expedition Health exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has received two prominent national awards in the course of a week. 

On Saturday, October 2, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) awarded Expedition Health its Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. The Leading Edge Award recognizes excellence and innovation in new science-based exhibitions created for informal science learning environments. 

ASTC is an organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering public engagement with science among increasingly diverse audiences. The organization claims nearly 600 members in 45 countries. Members include not only science centers and museums but also nature centers, aquariums, planetariums, zoos, botanical gardens, and natural history and children's museums, as well as companies, consultants, and other organizations that share an interest in informal science education.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has received the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award twice before. In 2005, the Museum's Space Odyssey exhibition won the Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience, and in 2007, the Museum's president and CEO, George Sparks, was awarded the Leading Edge Award for New Leadership in the Field. 

On Wednesday, September 29, the Hungry Hiker-Build a Meal computer game featured in Expedition Health earned a Corporate Recognition Award in the Apps for Healthy Kids competition organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.  

Hungry Hiker-Build a Meal game teaches users the basics of nutrition without relying upon the food pyramid or calorie counting. The object of the game is to put together a nutritious meal for a hiker avatar. A balanced meal will get the hiker to the top of the mountain, an unbalanced meal will not. (Play the game at   

"Nutrition is a hard subject to learn, so the Hungry Hiker game was created to boil it down to basic principles. For instance, at every meal half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables-the more colorful the better," said Dr. Bridget Coughlin, the Museum's curator of human health and scientific consultant on Expedition Health exhibition. "With nutrition, we wanted to keep it simple and add a dose of adventure and humor to keep children engaged with the topic."  

For the contest, USDA officials screened entries and then accepted 95 submissions of games or apps from students, software developers, designers, and organizations as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity. Dr. Nicole Garneau, also a curator of human health, and Ian Holtum, the Museum's multimedia developer, attended an awards ceremony hosted by the First Lady at the White House this week. 

A panel of 14 judges, including Apple Computer cofounder Steve Wozniak, School Nutrition Association president Dora Rivas, and Zynga Game Network CEO Mark Pincus, named the Corporate Recognition Award winners based on creativity, originality, and potential to impact, engage, and motivate the target audience. Other games and apps were given popular choice awards based upon the number of votes they received online. 

About Expedition Health

Expedition Health, a permanent 10,000-square-foot health science exhibition with hands-on, full-body activities and real anatomical specimens, opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in April 2009.  Expedition Health is not about the human body-it's about YOUR human body and how it is constantly changing and adapting in ways you can see, measure, and optimize through the choices you make. (The entire Expedition Health press kit is available at 

Since its grand opening, approximately 660,000 people have experienced Expedition Health.  Visitor surveys taken in the exhibition show that the highly-personalized health lessons presented in Expedition Health have impact and staying power.


  • 93% of adults who visited Expedition Health said there was something they were doing differently as a result of visiting. Most responses related to staying active and healthy eating.
  • 82% of students claimed Expedition Health made them care more about their own body and health.
  • Approximately three-quarters of family groups said they intended to make changes in their lifestyle after visiting Expedition Health. The most frequently mentioned changes were getting more exercise, eating a healthier diet, and using sunscreen.


Expedition Health is made possible by Kaiser Permanente Colorado as part of its mission to help improve the health of the community.

Expedition Health is a registered trademark of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions, and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205.  To learn more about the Museum, check or call 303-370-6000.

Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by generous funding fromthe citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District

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