Science on a Sphere

Science on a Sphere
Science on a Sphere

A new exhibit aimed at getting kids and adults excited about science is now on permanent display on the first floor of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The Science On a Sphere, created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 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 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. 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.