CHICAGO (CBS) — The Museum of Science and Industry has opened a new interactive exhibit designed to get kids thinking about energy and conservation.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports MSI President David Mosena cut the ribbon on “Future Energy Chicago” on Wednesday.

“Kids today will be the ones discovering and implementing the energy solutions of tomorrow,” he said. “It’s imperative to engage them in this vitally important topic.”

The exhibit features five high-tech workstations with 3-D displays.

Teams of 5th graders from Hayt Elementary School in Edgewater played some of the interactive games included in the exhibit – allowing them to design more energy efficient cars, homes, and neighborhoods.

“The data that supports this simulation is not made up. This is not a video game. It’s not a fantasy experience,” Museum vice president Kurt Haunfelner said.

The kids teacher Ronald Hale said he’s been talking to them about energy in class.

“They really feel special being able to take part in this,” he said.

His students said it was exciting to be the first to check out the exhibit.

“They learn the concepts of energy; of exactly what energy is, and how it’s used, and how we convert energy from one form to another,” he said. “They also learn that energy is our new issue of today; you know, conserving energy, and how to create more energy-efficient items, and cars, and appliances that we use.”

Mosena said it’s unlike anything the museum has done before.

“Our goal is for Future Energy to encourage and empower young people to envision their own role in our energy future,” he said.

Amy Francetic, executive director of the Clean Energy Trust, had a role in developing the exhibit.

“I found it really critical that the Museum of Science and Industry is exposing so many young minds to these important lessons – sustainability, energy efficiency, and transportation,” she said. “It will help enable these young people to become leaders, and potentially future entrepreneurs, and stewards of the environment.”

For more on the Future Energy Chicago exhibit, click here.

Watch & Listen LIVE