When we began building mazes more than 15 years ago, I had no idea where these twisting paths would take us. Not only did we arrive at places I hadn't dreamed of: Caracas, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, but we came to an entirely different industry with a completely new mission. What started out as a fun leisure activity evolved into a unique learning system. Put simply, we became as excited about educational value as entertainment value. Our mazes are still fun - - they can't help it. It's a universal phenomenon. But what makes us leap out of bed every morning with new ideas is the educational possibilities. What else can we teach people about? How else can we make a subject accessible, interesting, goofy, and fun to learn.
It starts as a new environment. When you step into one of our maze exhibits, you're no longer in a museum or at a zoo. You're in a world dedicated to a particular subject. And it doesn't have to be extravagantly themed (although our newer exhibits are steeped in rich graphics). Kids' imaginations can grab ahold of the subtlest storyline; the simplest mission. And before they know it, they're actively searching, answering questions, imitating, engaging in the subject matter and learning! Several of our exhibits feature a lifecycle program where visitors can walk in the footsteps (or paw steps, or knuckle steps) of the subjects. Not only can we present detailed biological and behavioral factors, but also visitors get to glimpse what it's like to BE a chimpanzee; or a salmon; or a black bear; or a sea turtle. What happens once I'm born/hatched? Do I meet my mother? Does she feed and protect me? Where do I go and why? Is it dangerous? Who or what are my greatest threats? What are my chances of survival? And with each step, with each life stage, with each role-play interactive, I gain more knowledge and more insight. I'm interested in my fate. I care what happens next. I develop empathy for another of earth's creatures. Now I'm ready to hear how I can help. How my daily decisions may make things better or worse for this and other species. Now I've learned something that goes beyond the maze, beyond the museum, beyond myself.
This is why we do what we do. Not only for you and your visitors, but for us, our industry, our education system, and our planet. With each new exhibit we create, we will strive to foster and nurture curiosity, empathy, personal and global responsibility as we seek not simply to educate, but to transform. In this manner, we look forward to creating future exhibits on clean energy, water, sustainability etc. And of course, we're open to your ideas. Thanks for visiting. And Enjoy!Kelly Fernandi, President