Play With Science At Nature Research Center
Raleigh’s state-of-the-art Nature Research Center brings science to life through interactive features and exhibits. This $56 million dollar project aims to make scientists and their work more accessible to the public, demystify the field of science and inspire a new generation of young scientists. Within this 80,000 square-foot wing opened in April 2012 as part of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, visitors have opportunities to learn and engage with science in new and exciting ways. Highlights include:
• The SECU Daily Planet – This three-story, high-definition media space is the centerpiece of the Nature Research Center. It will link virtual to real nature and be the site of live programming on breaking science news. At intervals during the day, scientists will present to visitors using the cutting edge technology and media of the SECU Daily Planet and its 40-foot, high-definition screen. These presenters will discuss the science research behind current issues and their societal impacts as well as field questions from the audience.
• Science Immersion Theater – This high-tech presentation space broadcasts live satellite images from NASA, NOAA and other high definition productions. Visitors will get a 360-degree view of natural science phenomena happening to the Earth, such as the effects of rapid population growth, rising sea levels due to climate change, fires and hurricanes.
• 10,000-gallon Aquarium – Observe large fish such as native bonnethead sharks, Atlantic stingrays, and the lionfish as the affect of invader species on coastal fisheries is studied. The aquarium is 100% recycled, being a renovated aquarium that used to reside at Fort Fisher.
• Meet the Scientist – Here visitors can observe scientists conduct their research in labs through glass windows. Visitors can even interact with the scientists in a designated area outside of the labs.
• Investigate Labs – These spaces provide visitors with a set of hands-on activities and research skill-building exercises to guide them through the process of using scientific tools and conducting scientific inquiry. Working together, scientists and visitors will generate mutual research questions and both will learn from the experience.
• Citizen Science Center – Become a participant in ongoing, active research projects by collecting, submitting and analyzing data. Visitors will have access to information and tools that will allow them to conduct research alongside reputable partners in the field of science.
• The Diversity of Life Wall – Learn about the five areas of research including “how do we know” investigations. These five areas are: Frontiers, Things Change, How Many, Relationships, and Importance. Each area focuses on a different aspect of biodiversity, from the most recent discoveries of thousands of new species in the ocean depths to the importance of each individual species for the balance of all life on Earth. The wall shows how research is performed in the wild and encourages visitors to think about what the research means to them.
added: April 17, 2012
updated: April 17, 2012