Featured Neighbor: The Exploratorium

Many thanks to Patio Plasma for taking the time to work with me on this great 5 minute interview! I checked out The Exploratorium yesterday and its really intriguing. The exhibits are really creative and its a great example of how education can be expanded in Second Life. I highly recommend that everyone take a trip there to check out the great exhibitions.

Q: What is the Exploratorium and why does it exist?
A: The Exploratorium in Second Life is an interactive science museum created and run by staff at the Exploratorium Science Museum in San Francisco. We created the Exploratorium to present webcasts in-world of total solar eclipses. In the sim we show live images of eclipses in our amphitheater. In addition we have an exhibition of exhibits that explains solar eclipses. We also have large exhibits that let you: ride a cannon ball in orbit around the earth as drawn by Newton in the Principia,ride a molecule in brownian motion, ride a galaxy cluster outward from the big bang, and to observe an asteroid impact on Mars. We are in second life because it provides an opportunity to create interactive three dimensional time varying exhibits that would be impossible to create in real life.

Q: What can you tell me about the Pi exhibits?
A: The Exploratorium started Pi day, March 14, twenty one years ago. So it seemed natural to bring Pi day into Second Life. We have exhibits that are for fun, like the leaning tower of Pi-za that collapses when approached, and exhibits that help people come to grips with pi, a telephone reads the digits of pi when answered, or a pi glass, a glass that is one circumference tall and which seems impossibly tall.

Q: Do you have any events/initiatives coming up that you would like to promote?
A: Pi day exhibits are up and running from March 14 through April 15. We usually have a couple of special shows each year. Later in 2009 we will have a science of baseball show. And in 2010 we will bring live to SL a total solar eclipse from French Polynesia.

Q: How can NPC and the nonprofit community help support the Exploratorium?
A: A group of nonprofits can support each other by sharing information. Together we can create new worlds in SL without re- inventing the wheel. There is a second museum run by staff from the Exploratorium, The Splo, in Sploland sim. It has Exploratorium-like interactive science exhibits it also pokes fun at real life science museums.

If you would like us to feature your organization, event or exhibit on the blog, please contact Beth J. Bates (aka Cordelia Gothly) in-world or through the blog! We’re here to support you!

Written by: Beth J. Bates