Behind the Scenes of Bug Lab

Discovery Place Science

On a damp and chilly Friday, four rigs full of future adventures pulled up to the loading dock at Discovery Place Science in Uptown Charlotte. There to greet the giant trucks was Sarah Macey, the Museum’s Assistant Vice President of Design and Exhibitions.

For the past 11 years, Macey has been part of the Museum team charged with, among other things, assembling the newest traveling exhibition when it arrives. For the upcoming Bug Lab exhibition, that arrival – or at least the first phase of it – came Nov. 9.

“This particular exhibit was sent to us in 10 international shipping containers, each of which are 40-feet long by about 10-feet wide."
Sarah Macey

Throughout most of November, Macey and a team of approximately six Museum employees worked with four representatives of the New Zealand-based Te Papa Museum, creator of Bug Lab, to bring the exhibition to life here in Charlotte.

The December 8 opening will mark the first time Bug Lab has been on exhibition in North America. For Macey, its arrival offers an opportunity to learn about the development of yet another unique and entertaining exhibition.

“I love learning the stories behind the exhibitions."
Sarah Macey

Ask Macey, and she is hard pressed to name one exhibit that she would consider the most challenging to assemble during her career at Discovery Place Science. “They all have their challenges,” she says. “There is always something with every show.”

She can’t say she necessarily has a single favorite exhibition, either. Instead, her favorite exhibitions to put together are those in which she and her team can “put our own touch on it.”

“Hearing the squeal of kids who love what you did or watching people be moved to tears, just seeing that emotional impact is always really rewarding,” she says. “For me, it’s not about creating the shiny new design, I enjoy creating positive experiences and making things that have a positive impact on people.”

Bug Lab will invade Discovery Place Science on December 8. Grab your tickets today.

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