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Adventure to adoption challenge

The Inventor Center at RMSC partners with Lollypop Farm; photos provided

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to be a veterinarian? Well now’s your chance to find out! Located on the third floor of Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) is the Inventor Center, and the latest inventor challenge is all about pets—Lollypop Farm: Adventure to Adoption

Lollypop Farm is celebrating 150 years of animal care and protection for the Rochester community. Lollypop Farm focuses on justice, prevention, and lifesaving care for about 10,000 animals each year. It has worked closely with RMSC staff, showing them all aspects of the job, to bring you a fun medical science challenge. 

“We want to encourage guests to problem-solve and think through a challenge. In this case, it’s looking at the information and trying to do a diagnosis or what the treatment should be and thinking like a medical professional might,” director of exhibits, Calvin Uzelmeier says. 

There are a total of seventeen realistic stuffed animals such as Rex the iguana, Thumper the rabbit, and Francis the ball python. The animals are swapped in and out, but eight are available at all times for you to examine, diagnose, and treat. Once you pick out an animal you can place it on the x-ray table while looking through a chart that tells you about the animal and its symptoms. After examining the x-ray and deciphering what may be wrong, look at the slide sample. Using the images on the clipboard and screen ask yourself, “what does it look like? Would this diagnosis make sense with what I saw on the x-ray and slide sample? Did I accidentally miss something? How would I treat this?” 

Once you have your answer, hear from a veterinary technician about what they learn from the experiments. The final step of this challenge is the adoption game! 

All of the animals in the adoption game are real-life Lollypop Farm adoption stories. Information about a person/ family and what they are looking for will pop up on the tablet screen and you have to find the right match for them. After you find it, the next person/family will cycle through until you’ve matched them all. The same adoption game is also available to play in card form. Once you’ve done these steps you’ve completed the challenge. 

“Very often we have some guests become attached to the animal that they’ve been taking care of, so we sell them in the shop and have adoption forms you can fill out.” Uzelmeier says. Although challenges in the Inventor Center usually switch out every few months, Lollypop Farm: Adventure to Adoption has become a favorite for guests and will remain open for a year (until September 2024). 

“It’s been really popular, visitors have really taken to it, and it gets a lot of repeat visitations. I think having a story is incredibly important to encourage people to be interactive and try different things. For example, the different animals, different problems, and different stories for the animals in the challenge,” Uzelmeier says. 

The RMSC and Lollypop Farm created this interactive challenge focused on medical science and problem-solving skills to push your abilities. Do you think you can do it?


Q: Why do pets see the veterinarian? 

A: Pets, just like humans, have to get regular checkups to make sure they are healthy. The veterinarian is a doctor for animals. They make sure your pets have up-to-date vaccines and boosters, check their eyes, nose, and ears, and examine their body weight, muscles, and condition. They will diagnose, treat, and perform operations for any animal in need and make sure your furry friend is healthy! 

Q: Why are x-rays helpful? 

A: An x-ray generates an image of the inside of an animal’s body to find problems. By looking at the x-ray, veterinarians can identify broken bones and spot tumors and enlarged organs, pregnancy, and bladder stones, for example.

Q: What is the importance of asking questions when examining an animal? 

A: Asking a pet’s owner questions about their pet is the first step to solving the problem! When you ask a question, you can break down the information given to you and better think a problem through. 

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