COSI, a well established science center, and SciTech, an emerging one, have formed a collaboration to develop a group of original interactive exhibits conveying to a wide audience the nature of the most fundamental features of the Universe, as revealed in the fascinating world of nuclear and particle science. These new exhibits will add to, and be supported by, the basic science exhibits which have already attracted large numbers of visitors to both centers. The new project, called “Building Blocks of the Universe”, aims to foster an appreciation of the way all features of the Universe arise from simple, basic rules and to lead the visitor from the perceived complexities of our surroundings, to the unperceived, but simpler features of the sub-nuclear world. It has already become apparent from individual prototypes that these simple but immensely far-reaching ideas can indeed be conveyed by hands-on exhibits. These exhibits will be linked and enhanced by an effective museum environment, using pictorial diagrams, accurate non-technical text, and artistic displays to create an atmosphere in which visitors can learn about phenomena beyond the range of direct perception. This paper describes the goals, content and organization of the exhibition. We also outline our experience with prototype exhibits, and thereby invite additional input into the development process.
KeywordsScience Center Wide Audience Direct Perception Bestseller List Fundamental Pattern
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