Science on a Sphere

12/09/2016 to 04/03/2018 9:00 am

Kalamazoo Valley Museum


A new exhibit aimed at getting kids and adults excited about science soon will be on permanent display on the first floor of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The Science On a Sphere® exhibit, created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, opens on Dec. 9 and is similar to a giant animated globe.

Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate earth science to audiences of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain complex environmental processes in a way that is fun and educational.

“This new exhibit is a highly animated video system that projects onto a 60-inch diameter sphere that explores many earth science related topics from the oceans, continents, weather, climate, pollution, and much more,” said Bill McElhone, Kalamazoo Valley Museum director. “The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is the third institution in the state of Michigan, the first in west Michigan, to have this very special exhibit system. The Science on a Sphere exhibit, along with the recent updates to the Museum's planetarium will compliment formal education happening in the classrooms with these very dynamic teaching resources found here at the Museum.”

Currently there are 141 Science On a Sphere® installation sites in 26 countries and the new exhibit at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum brings the number up to 142. Other locations in Michigan are the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena and the Detroit Zoo. The Science On a Sphere® comes with a digital data catalog focusing on the categories of Atmosphere, Ocean, Land, Astronomy, Models and Simulations, and Extras. “The exhibit will enhance knowledge about the Earth and the solar system while making science interesting to all ages,” McElhone said.

General admission to the Museum and is free.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.