Mayborn Museum Complex Will Be Giving Thrills and Chills All Summer

May 23, 2013
Goose Bumps

Goose Bumps interactive exhibit with Rebecca Nall. Photo courtesy of Rachel Miller

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Contact: Terry Goodrich,(254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (May 23, 2013) --As spooky music plays, the heart beats faster and the muscles tense. The moment a loud noise sounds, the eyes squeeze shut as the lips pull back toward the ears. The body suddenly jumps, and shoulders and arms slightly rise, as if ready to defend themselves against an imaginary threat.
This is what happens to those who take the Fear of Loud Noises challenge at the Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear exhibit, which opens May 25 and runs through Sept. 2 at Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex. Why does the body have such immediate reactions even when the brain knows there is no real danger? The exhibit, developed by the California Science Center, explains the science behind it all.
"As an educational institution, we choose exhibits that are fun and interactive which are ingredients that encourage learning. Thrill seekers and scaredy-cats alike will have fun learning about fear," said Dr. Ellie Caston, director of Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex.
The Goose Bumps! exhibit includes immersive environments and full-body, interactive experiences that allow guests to test their fears and rate their physiological responses.
Goose Bumps! begins with the Fear Challenge Course, where visitors can face four common fears in a safe environment. The first challenge, Fear of Animals, dares guests to reach into concealed terrariums that might be the home of creepy-crawly creatures. In the next room, Fear of Electric Shock, visitors may feel their heart pounding as they anticipate getting zapped by a jolt of electricity. In Fear of Loud Noises visitors listen to eerie music leading up to a loud bang, and then watch a recording of their facial expression. Finally, the Fear of Falling challenge allows guests to experience a sudden loss of support and then watch a video recording of their reaction to the backwards drop.
For those too afraid to take the Fear Challenge Course, the exhibit also includes less frightening activities. Visitors will meet Mr. Goose Bumps, a larger-than-life figure that illustrates, through animation, how the brain and body work together in response to danger. Brain slices preserved through the process of plastination are on display showing similarities in a key fear structure in the brains of humans and animals. The wall of phobias explains everyday and bizarre fears, from aviophobia--the fear of flying--to genuphobia--the fear of knees.
The Mayborn museum offers other exhibits year-round as well, including a tea party room, a bubble room where visitors can literally envelop themselves inside of a bubble and a historic replication of a 1890s cotton-centered community. "You can definitely spend the entire day here," said Rebecca Tucker Nall, changing exhibits manager for the Mayborn Museum Complex.
Regular admission, which includes all of the museum and the Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear exhibit, is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for children. The exhibition is free to all museum members and Baylor students. This courtesy is also extended to other college and university students with a valid ID.
The exhibit opens on Saturday, May 25, with a special price of $5 per person. This special price offer extends through Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. For more information, contact the Mayborn Museum Complex at (254) 710-1104 or visit
The museum is located at 1300 S. University Parks Drive in Waco.
by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.
Located on the Baylor University campus, the Mayborn Museum Complex features a natural science and cultural history museum focusing on Central Texas with walk-in dioramas, including one on the Waco Mammoth Site, and exploration stations for geology, paleontology, archaeology, and natural history. In addition, 17 themed discovery rooms encourage hands-on learning for all ages.