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Explore The Amazing World Of Soils

Explore The Amazing World Of Soils

"Dig It! Secrets Of The Soil" is the name of a display that reveals the impact of the soil on life on earth. The traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian is now on display at the Durham Museum in Omaha until December 26.

Visitors to the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska will enjoy a journey into the skin of the earth and explore the amazing world of soils in a new exhibit called "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil."  As a recent visitor, I was impressed. The exhibit is open to the public until December 26 and information is available at or call the museum at 402-444-5071.

Completely familiar yet largely unknown, soils help sustain virtually every form of life on Earth. Still, it is said that we know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about the Earth beneath our feet. Created by the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the Dig It! exhibit takes visitors to the world of fungi, bacteria, worms and countless other organisms. Visitors discover the amazing connections between soils and everyday life and come away thinking about this hidden world in a whole new way.

Several different parts illustrate this world of soils exhibit

At Home In The World Of Soils explores the connections between soil and culture. While we walk on soils every day, we rarely think about how soils affect our daily lives. Visitors to this exhibit will learn about the "secret ingredients" in thousands of everyday items--medicine, food, fiber, paint, cosmetics, etc.

The Underneath It All gallery explores soils in a broader perspective. A large topographic model illustrates the role of soils in residential, urban and carbon cycles. Visitors to this part of the exhibit will learn how soil management can help meet the modern day demands for food production, infrastructure construction and environmental protection.

The Big Picture gallery includes a world map and computer interactive stations that highlight surprising global connections to soils.

Visitors can also dig into the life, death and decay of soils which is a topic that is explained in the Matters of Life And Death Theater. Through video and hands-on interactive displays, visitors to the exhibit learn how microorganisms that inhabit the soil on planed Earth work.

In Sizing Up The Soil, another part of the exhibit, visitors will get the dirt on soils in an array of fun interactive and exhibition stations. A "Chief Challenge" kitchen includes two very interesting "soil chefs" who create two very different soils from the same ingredients. And visitors are able to find their "home earth" in a display of soil samples representing each state in the nation.

Dig it! The Secrets of Soil is on display from now to December 26

Dig It! was created with the support of the Soil Science Society of America and the Nutrients For Life Foundation, which is underwritten by the Fertilizer Institute. Dig It! is sponsored locally by several businesses and other contributors.

The Durham Museum, making its home in Omaha's beautifully restored Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits that preserve the area's vibrant history, traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture to science and industry, and many entertaining, educational, family-oriented activities. The Durham Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives and The Field Museum. Admission is free for members and children age 2 and under; $7 for adults; $6 for seniors; and $5 for children 3 to 12. For information about the museum visit the website at

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