When a novel viral outbreak occurs, the lack of information can be confusing and concerning. We often ask questions, such as “What’s different about this disease?” and “How can I protect myself?” Scientists have to work quickly to figure out the answers, but having some knowledge about viruses and vaccines can help to make the unknowns less daunting.

At NYSCI, we believe knowledge is empowering and want everyone to feel confident in understanding the facts. Therefore, we decided to use the news about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a teaching moment by creating a pop-up exhibition that builds on our Transmissions: Gone Viral interactive graphic novel.

Our teams moved quickly to develop this new exhibit, to ensure it was available to our visitors in a timely manner. The exhibit explains what a virus is, how it spreads, and why it’s important for scientists in different countries to share information. It first launched at NYSCI on March 6, 2020. Since then, scientists have continued researching and working toward finding effective treatments and a vaccine, so the content now also includes information about vaccines– what they are, how they work, and how they’re made. 

Since NYSCI and other organizations have been forced to temporarily close, we posted the exhibition on our website below, and have freely shared the exhibit with museums around the world through the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC).

So far, 92 institutions across 17 countries– including China, Ghana, Italy, Poland and South Africa – have recreated the exhibit (in print or online). Museums interested in obtaining files for the virus and/or vaccine panels can email Laycca Umer at COVIDexh@nysci.org for more information.

Please view the COVID-19 exhibit by the New York Hall of Science below, in both English and Español.: