BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new exhibit is will open up the fascinating and lifesaving world of medical research to kids at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Explore & More Children's Museum.
"Sofia Learns About Research" is a collaboration between the museum and University at Buffalo's Clinical and Translational Science Institute. It's based on a children's activity and coloring book that tells the story of a girl who has asthma and goes to the doctor, where she learns about how, through clinical research, they might be able to find new treatments for the disease.
The exhibit brings Sofia's story to the big screen in the museum's hospital and research lab as a video game for children and parents to play together. The book is available in English, Spanish and Arabic for free, both at the exhibit and at UB's CTSI.
Teresa Quattrin, MD, a UB Distinguished Professor and senior associate dean for research integration in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is one of the researchers responsible for dreaming up the book and the new exhibit. She says the project was in the works before the Covid-19 pandemic, but it takes on new meaning now.
“Since the pandemic began, the increased public conversations around health and science are making this exhibit and all the ‘Sofia’ materials we’ve developed all that much more compelling,” she said. “We are pleased that we can help provide children and their parents with an educational and fun experience about medical research during this difficult time.”
“The oversized touch screen is designed for a whole family to play together at once,” said Amelia Schrader, Explore and More's senior education manager. “With the child and caregiver working together, both will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of conducting and participating in clinical research.”
For a web-based version of Sofia Learns About Research, click here.