News Article | December 29, 2015
This collection of exhibits at the intersection of science and art should keep you entertained during the cold winter months, no matter where you are in the country. Get out of the house and enjoy! FRAGILE BEAUTY: The Art & Science of Sea Butterflies on view indefinitely Smithsonian Museum of Natural History 1st Floor, Center, Sant Ocean Hall, Research Case 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW Washington, D.C. Artist Cornelia Kubler Kavanagh and biological oceanographer Gareth Lawson bring the plight of tiny ocean pteropods—or “sea butterflies” —to light with larger-than-life sculptures. Kavanagh’s sculptures are based on tiny sea snails no bigger than a grain of sand. They honor the floating beauty of these animals, while evoking their struggle to survive in the face of ocean acidification. Gareth Lawson, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, studies ocean acidification and provided research that inspired Kavanagh’s creative work. REVEALING THE INVISIBLE: The History of Glass and the Microscope April 23, 2016 to March 19, 2017 The Corning Museum of Glass One Museum Way Corning, NY Glass made it possible for scientists and artists to see tiny living creatures once invisible to the human eye. Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope tells the stories of scientists’ and artists’ exploration of the microscopic world between the 1600s and the late 1800s. Their discoveries fed people’s hunger to learn more about nature, increasing the popularity of microscopes and driving improvements in scientific glass. These advances culminated in the 19th century with the advent of modern scientific glassmaking and the perfection of the microscope. Unleash your sense of discovery as you explore the invisible through historic microscopes, rare books, and period illustrations. View the artworks of 23 artists who were selected from more than 100 entrants from around the world for this year’s science-inspired exhibition about biodiversity and extinction. The co-jurors for this exhibition were Elizabeth Corr, manager of art partnerships at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Paula J. Ehrlich, president & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. This exhibition is the 17th International Art-Science Juried Exhibition organized by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI). Artists can use their skills and imagination to take on the issue of climate change and this work is now being seen in unprecedented numbers. The artists in Tipping Points use a variety of mediums including painting, photography, video, sculpture and drawing. Some have been partnering with scientists and environmental organizations. Others have been researching and documenting changes in glaciers and diminishing ice on trips to far northern regions of the planet; including boat trips to the Arctic and Antarctic. Some take a more poetic and imaginative approach to confront the seriousness of the issue and single biggest challenge of our time. HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF SKIN DISEASE: Selections from the New Sydenham Society Atlas 1860-1884 September 17, 2015 - January 10, 2016 Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Sterling Hall of Medicine 333 Cedar Street New Haven, CT In this exhibit, Yale dermatologists Jean Bolognia and Irwin Braverman present the celebrated nineteenth century illustrations to a current clinical audience, making a relevant teaching point with each plate. Twenty-five of the Atlas’ forty-nine plates are selected for display. They depict cutaneous diseases ranging from the common, e.g. psoriasis and eczema, to the rare, e.g. iododerma and systematized epidermal nevi. Examples of skin signs of systemic disease, including Addison’s disease, neurofibromatosis, and lupus erythematosus, are also shown. The emotional toll which these chronic diseases inflicted upon patients is a striking feature of the many portraits on view. This innovative new exhibition, Emergence: Craft + Technology, features work that exemplifies the ever-increasing intertwining of advanced digital processes with traditional hand-made craft. Whether through the use of computer design programs, CNC and automated tools, or 3D printing, we celebrate the use of new technologies in the production of state-of-the-art craft. MACRO OR MICRO?: Challenging our Perceptions of Scale Museum of Science Art & Science Gallery 1 Science Park Boston, MA Today, researchers study the Earth at a variety of scales and with a variety of advanced equipment. While satellites take images of entire landscapes, electron microscopes use a beam of electrons to magnify objects up to 500,000 times. The resulting images, which differ in scale of a million times or more, are featured side-by-side in Macro or Micro? Challenging our perceptions of scale. Geographer Stephen Young and biologist Paul Kelly, both with Salem State University, have gathered compelling images from their scientific research to test viewers' perceptions of the Earth. Challenge yourself to determine the scale of these stunning images — the patterns and similarities between macro and micro views may surprise you. Artist and ocean advocate Courtney Mattison creates large scale ceramic installations and sculptures inspired by science and marine biology. Her intricate hand-crafted porcelain works celebrate the fragile beauty of endangered coral reef ecosystems and promote awareness to conserve and protect our natural world. Origin of the Universe. Evolution of the Universe. String Theory. Dark Matter. Dark Energy. Multiverse. Unification of Space + Time. Our Solar System. Cultural Cosmology. Art.Science.Gallery.’s science-inspired printmakers explore the cosmos in this far out exhibition for PrintAustin 2016, a city-wide printmaking festival. BIRDS OF TENNESSEE: Celebrating the Centennial of the Tennessee Ornithological Society October 5, 2015 - TBD McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture University of Tennessee, Knoxville 1327 Circle Park Drive Knoxville, TN To celebrate the centennial of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS), the museum is displaying fifty-six engravings and lithographs featuring the birds of Tennessee. Spanning two hundred years from 1731 to 1931, the prints on view are by twelve artists: Eleazar Albin, Mark Catesby, Xaviero Manetti, Alexander Wilson, Titian Ramsay Peale, Alexander Rider, Prideaux John Selby, John James Audubon, John Gould, Daniel Giraud Elliot, Henry Eeles Dresser, and Rex Brasher. The works on view are drawn from the museum’s extensive collection of over three thousand ornithological prints and are on display in the pull-out drawer case in the entrance to the Decorative Arts gallery. 25 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope July 12, 2015 - January 17, 2016 Museum of Arts and Sciences 4182 Forsyth Road Baton Rouge, LA Since its launch in April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has provided stunning images of far-away stars, galaxies, and nebulae, and has shed light on many of the great mysteries of the universe. Today, HST continues to provide views of cosmic wonders never before seen. This exhibit displays some of the most intriguing images taken by HST over the past 25 years. CONDENSED MATTER COMMUNITY by appointment through January 2016 Synchrotron Radiation Center: Home of Aladdin 3731 Schneider Dr. Stoughton, WI Condensed Matter Community is a site-specific curatorial project organized by Kristof Wickman and Evan Gruzis intended to generate a dialogue about science, aesthetics, progress and entropy. The project uses the site of a decommissioned particle accelerator facility in rural Wisconsin, The Synchrotron Radiation Center: Home of Aladdin, as an exhibition space to frame a selection of artworks, prior to forthcoming experiments. NUMBERS IN NATURE: A Mirror Maze new permanent exhibit Museum of Science and Industry 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL Patterns are everywhere if you know where to look! From the delicate nested spirals of a sunflower’s seeds, to the ridges of a majestic mountain range, to the layout of the universe, mathematical patterns abound in the natural world. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze is a new permanent exhibit that will expose and explain the patterns that surround us. As you enter Numbers in Nature, lenticular images and an immersive large-format film reveal these repeating patterns hidden throughout nature: spirals, occurrences of the "golden ratio" (), Voronoi patterns, and fractal branching. You will even discover patterns and ratios found in your own body and in centuries of music, art, and architecture so that you'll never look at the world the same way again. This exhibition explores the relationship between culture and nature, one of the oldest human tropes. In this recurring schism, humans believe ourselves to be of nature and, alternately, distinct from it. As we search texts and traditions to support either position, the persistence of the trope itself is underscored; it’s an impasse, shifting in form. It’s also an embrace of or a resistance to the natural world that produced us; from which we believe we stand apart. In Raw and Cooked, artists Jim Jacobs, Joshua Winegar, and Paul Crow present work within this nature/culture dialectic. Jacobs begins with an ancient horticultural intervention, the graft, to focus our attention on a literal intersection of the natural and the human-made. Winegar takes on the natural world as a partner in a conversation with his psyche, alternately responding to, and intervening in, the world which surrounds him. Crow maps the span of his life onto the time frame of the human awareness of global climate change. Each artist begins with material that exists before agency and brings it through a process of intervention to manifest a hybrid: the artist in dialogue both with the world and without, and with an inner understanding of that world. ATOMS + BYTES: Redefining Craft in the Digital Age March 4 – June 26, 2016 Bellevue Arts Museum 510 Bellevue Way NE Bellevue, WA Today's makers have access to a wider array of tools, materials, and processes than ever before. Digital methods such as scanning and imaging, coding, CNC-milling, and rapid prototyping not only influence the way objects are designed, manufactured, and distributed, but also change the terms of our relationships with them. Atoms + Bytes: Redefining Craft in the Digital Age will showcase works by 30 international and local makers situated at the intersection of the digital and the analogue worlds. These artists, craftspeople, and designers excel in material practices that span millennia of craft traditions, while drawing on cutting-edge digital tools to develop innovative ways of making. The integration of these atoms and bytes, building blocks of matter and information, generates the new forms and typologies that shape our changing world. Through the presentation of works that embody mergers of traditional and digital processes and materials, Atoms + Bytes reframes the conversation about the place of technology within the historical trajectory of object-making and offers an invitation to reevaluate the way we place value on craft and define "hand-made." FIRES OF CHANGE November 19, 2015 – April 3, 2016 University of Arizona Museum of Art 1031 North Olive Road Tucson, AZ The worlds of art and fire science come together in Fires of Change. Curated by Flagstaff installation artist Shawn Skabelund, Fires of Change explores the increase in severity, size, and number of wildfires in the Southwest and their impact on the landscape through the eyes of artists. Through the art, visitors can get a sense of the true impact of the fires, from human to environmental. Fires of Change is an NEA and Joint Fire Science Consortium funded exhibition originating at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff. Eleven artists spent a week in 2014 in fire science boot camp with the Southwest Fire Science Consortium and the Landscape Conservation Initiative to learn about the impact of wildfire in Northern Arizona. They then spent the year creating original works in reaction to their experiences. CALIFORNIA FLORA: Botanical Paintings in Colored Pencil by Nina Antze January 7, 2016 – April 25, 2016 Please call ahead 707-527-9277 x 107 to see exhibit Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA California Flora is an exhibit of botanical paintings by colored pencil artist Nina Antze. The paintings were created over the past eight years and focus mainly on California natives. Also included are paintings documenting Luther Burbank’s Experiment Farm in Sebastopol and a piece from the Alcatraz Florilegium, a documentation of the plants of the Alcatraz gardens. Nina Antze is a botanical artist and quilt maker living in Northern California. She has a degree in Fine Art from San Francisco State University and has a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the New York Botanical Gardens. She teaches Colored Pencil classes in the Botanical Certificate Program at Filoli Gardens, at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts and around the Bay Area. Her botanical paintings and colored pencil drawings have been exhibited in New York, at the Huntington Library, and at Filoli Gardens and her quilts have won numerous awards. She works in colored pencil, watercolor pencil and fabric. Her botanicals can be viewed at her website, www.pcquilt.com THE ALCATRAZ FLORILEGIUM: A Special Botanical Art Exhibit January 16 - 29, 2016 University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley 200 Centennial Drive Berkeley, CA The Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCSBA) in collaboration with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Garden Conservancy has created a florilegium, a series of botanical paintings, to document the plants of The Gardens of Alcatraz. The UC Botanical Garden is thrilled to welcome the NCSBA to exhibit this special showing of the Alcatraz Florilegium, with over 70 drawings and paintings, in our beautiful Julia Morgan Hall. TENTACLES: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid, and Cuttlefishes April 12, 2014 - September 2016 Monterey Bay Aquarium 886 Cannery Row Monterey, CA Journey to a world of undersea magicians, masters of disguise and quick-change artists. Our special exhibition is the largest, most diverse living exhibit ever created to showcase these amazing animals. You won't believe your eyes. A walk from Mount Diablo to the Hayward shoreline would cross through many ecosystems, each with their own unique set of inhabitants. Some of these creatures have very specific needs and limited ranges. Others are more adaptable and seem perfectly at home in an urban backyard. This collection of work by science illustrator Lucy Conklin explores the vast array of wildlife in the East Bay, and some of our unusual visitors. Whether they are long time residents, returning to their natural habitat after a long hiatus, or an oddity passing through unexplained, their journeys have a story. Creative inspiration is at the heart of both science and art – and our array of indoor and outdoor art installations blend art and science in delightful and insightful ways. Current installations include: BEAM Robot Fish: Controlled by solar cells, this BEAM robot sculpture (Biology, Electronic, Aesthetics, Mechanics) is designed to live, feed and fend for itself in the ocean. Cloud: Check out this mesmerizing art installation composed of hundreds of rotating glass panels designed to mimic the changes of state from solid to liquid to gas. Jacquard Coverlet: Marvel at this wall hanging woven on our antique Jacquard loom by volunteers. Like a computer, the loom’s mechanism uses binary to create the pattern. Do you know of any exhibits or have an upcoming exhibit that should be included on this list? Send me an email at symbiartic (dot) km (at) gmail (dot) com, or tweet me @eyeforscience with the deets. If it's scienceart related, it's fair game.
Brooks D.M.,MEPC |
Miller E.,Museum of Science and Industry |
Engineered Systems | Year: 2010
McGuire Engineers (MEPC), a staff and engineering consulting firm designed and built a new central plant that cools twice the space and brings in two times more ventilation than required. The design team added several innovative features to increase the overall efficiency of the cooling system. The plant was designed as a primary variable flow system, which means that the pumps slow down to meet the required building chilled water flow. Another innovative feature included was pressure-independent control valves, which maintain consistent flow over a wide range of pressures for a fixed valve position. The engineers also used a pressure independent control valve on the smaller chiller which trims the chilled water flow thereby loading the larger chillers which run more efficiently when they are fully loaded. MPEC used the initial investigative work to design the ductwork and piping system in a three dimensional CAD package to ensure all of the systems could fit in the given space.
News Article | February 19, 2017
For nearly a century, diesel-electric submarines relied on constantly charging traditional lead-acid batteries by running their diesel engines either on the surface or later on, while snorkeling near the surface. This left them constantly vulnerable, as they could only hide deep beneath the surface for hours or a couple days at a time. Over the last few decades, Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology has revolutionized the traditional diesel-electric submarine Performance capabilities approaching the the domain of highly expensive and large nuclear submarines have became available for a fraction of the cost in the form of smaller, AIP equipped diesel-electric submarines. Now the diesel-electric submarine is on the verge of yet another revolution, one that will return to type to its original roots, relying on diesel engines and batteries alone to go about its clandestine business. AIP technology describes an idea more than one strict submarine configuration. The same general concept can be achieved via multiple methods. The most modern versions range from using Stirling Engines, to the French MESMA (translated as autonomous submarine energy module) closed-cycle steam turbine system, to cutting-edge fuel cells to power the submarine while it is submerged for long periods of time. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, with cost, complexity and technological risk being major factors beyond raw performance. For instance, Sweden’s deadly but comparatively simple and proven Gotland class uses Stirling Engines for AIP, and although the technology is well proven and affordable, it also requires the boat to lug around liquid oxygen oxidizer, which can have its own dangers, as well as inert gas to mix with it. The Stirling engines and other infrastructure needed to make the system work, much of a relatively small submarine’s bulk gets taken up by the system. Additionally, Stirling Engine based AIP has many moving parts, which can make noise even when a high-degree of soundproofing is designed into the submarine. Sweden leased a Gotland class submarine to the Navy in the mid 2000s to work as an aggressor boat. It proved to be a very dangerous enemy, with its AIP technology causing major concerns among US Navy tacticians. The impact of these prolonged war games are still being felt today (US Navy photo): The French MESMA form of AIP, as used in Pakistan’s Agosta 90B class, is far more complex than the Stirling Engine AIP concept. It basically acts in a similar fashion as a nuclear reactor, although it uses ethanol and liquid oxygen combustion to generate steam, not a nuclear reaction, to spin a turbine and generate electricity. Once again, the boat has to lug around ethanol and volatile liquid oxygen as well as complex machinery—which produces noise—to make the system work, but it can produce a lot of power, which is good for high-speed operations. Cost is a major factor as MESMA is not a cheap technology to acquire or maintain. Finally, fuel cell-based AIP, although very high-tech and not capable of quickly ramping-up its power output like say a MESMA configuration can, is very quiet as there are few moving parts in the system. It also is a very efficient system for long endurance missions. So if you don’t have to sprint very fast but have to stay silent and stealthy for long periods of time, the technology has huge benefits. It is thought that Australia’s upcoming Shortfin Barracuda submarines, of French origin, will use fuel cell AIP propulsion. These massive submarines will offer as close to nuclear propulsion capabilities as possible. Israel's latest Dolphin class boats also use fuel cell AIP, which makes sense as they work as Israel's second-strike nuclear deterrent. All sensors and weapons being equal, a Navy has to justify what type of diesel electric submarine to choose based not just on cost but also on what type of tactics they aim to employ and what type of combat environment they are most likely to fight in. For instance, if long-range patrols and ambush tactics are common, along with the need for maximum stealth, fuel cell AIP technology may be best. If bursts of high-speed during attack and evasion maneuvers are needed often, along with high endurance, MESMA may be most appropriate. For shorter-range littoral combat operations, the Stirling Engine-based AIP technology may make the most sense. The thing is that with the large leaps in battery technology realized over the last couple of decades, AIP technology may soon face serious competition in the world of submarine warfare. The first electric submarine was the Peral Submarine built for the Spanish in 1888: High-tech diesel-electric submarines may begin to return to their simpler roots as Japan is pioneering a concept today that aims to eliminate AIP altogether. Their next generation Soryu class diesel-electric attack submarines will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries, and just like submarines dating back before World War I, they will run undersea on battery power alone. The Soryu class is already a very modern submarine, having been introduced into service just over a decade ago. As an outgrowth of the previous Oyashio class, these are not tiny boats, displacing 4,200 tons submerged and measuring 275 feet long, They are the largest submarines Japan has constructed since the end of World War II. They also feature an “X” tailplane configuration for extreme maneuverability in tight littoral environments. The profile of the Soryu class (Mike1979Russia/wikicommons): Today seven boats are operational, all of which leverage Stirling Engine AIP technology licensed directly from Kockums—the same Swedish company that produces the Gotland class. Japan, an island nation with long and complex coastlines, uses its submarines to patrol its territorial holdings and to protect its shores. As such, the proven and affordable Stirling Engine-based AIP technology, paired with the class’s large size and ample fuel reservoirs, was a good, balanced fit for their needs. But now Japan wants to eliminate AIP technology altogether without losing its benefits, and in doing so free up room for other capabilities while also simplifying design, construction and sustainment of their future submarines. Above all else, this new configuration should result in quieter operation than most existing AIP capable submarines. The idea is to install thousands of lithium-ion batteries along with powerful diesel engines and generators, as well as large exhaust and intakes stacks to accommodate them, into a tweaked Soryu design. A new power handling system that can deal with high power loads and optimize efficiency is also included in the concept. Basically, the configuration is similar to a standard diesel-electric submarine, that uses diesel engines and batteries alone for propulsion, but infused with new technology. Lithium-ion batteries have a ton of advantages over their old-school lead-acid cousins. They keep up their output even when their charge runs low, they are lighter than lead-acid batteries, they can be charged exceptionally fast (hence the more powerful diesel engine and generators), and they can store much more energy. Compared to the AIP system they aim to replace, endurance should be similar, while the overall boat’s propulsion system design will be less complex and bulky. Not just that, but lithium-ion batteries can provide large output on demand, allowing the boat to dash mush faster while dived compared to one running on an AIP system. The main downside to lithium-ion batteries is very well publicized: they are known to “runaway” and combust—exactly what you don’t want on a submarine. When they do so they produce very high heat, give off toxic fumes and expel conductive dust. They are also hard to extinguish using traditional means. But because weight is not as much of an issue on a large sea-going vessel, new methods of abatement can be put in place to lower the risk of a fire and its potentially catastrophic results. Suppliers are working with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force to overcome these concerns by building larger lithium-ion cell matrices with reinforced boundaries and enhanced chemistry that is less susceptible to these types of events. Extensive short-circuit, saltwater intrusion, drop and impact testing has also been done to certify the batteries for such critical use. Also, a specialized fire extinguishing system will be installed aboard advanced Soryu boats to neutralize a fire quickly and automatically in its battery compartments should one occur. Lithium-ion batteries have had their problems in aircraft and in submersibles before, but Japan is investing billions into making the technology work, with the last three Soryu class boats being earmarked for lithium-ion propulsion. The seventh boat in the class, which is in the water now, may also use lithium-ion batteries, although it may be in combination with the four Stirling Engines found on earlier models. This boat could act as a “bridge” between the new all lithium-ion battery configuration and the older AIP configuration and could also serve as technology demonstrator for fielding the new batteries on a smaller scale aboard a submarine. The Soryu class is almost entirely covered in acoustic tiling (Norio NAKAYAMA/wikicommons): With this new Soryu class configuration, Japan has the potential to raise their profile as builders of an excellent class of attack submarine to the realm of world leader in new conventionally-powered submarine technology. This could mean serious exports if the type proves to be reliable and safe. Down the road, the success of Japan’s lithium-ion battery powered subs could also mean a large cut in price for their AIP-like capabilities. Not just that, but other configurations, where existing AIP technologies are paired with lithium-ion batteries could also emerge, offering the best of both worlds for some users. The pairing of lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells for instance could result in highly capable and versatile submarines that feature extreme endurance, very quiet operation, fast acceleration and high dash speeds. In fact, there are rumors that China is working on pairing lithium-ion batteries with its own AIP submarines right now. But such a hybrid design would come at greater cost and complexity than what Japan or most navies require. A diagram of the so called "Super Soryu" class of submarines that was intended to fulfill Australia's requirement for a new advanced attack submarine. It would have used lithium-ion batteries instead of AIP and many thought it was a favorite to win the tender. In the end DCNS won with their Shortfin Baraccuda concept that supposedly leverages fuel cell AIP technology. Considering the extreme range requirements that Australia puts on their submarines, it really is no surprise that even the enlarged "Super Soryu," which was designed for more territorial operations, was passed over: The US Navy, which got out of the diesel-electric submarine business 27 years ago, has since experienced a submarine deficit, one that has no sign of abating. If Japan is successful in proving that higher-tech, yet simpler and possibly cheaper lithium-ion powered diesel-electric submarines can achieve similar or better performance as AIP equipped boats, all with less of equal acoustic signature as the best nuclear submarines, the US should move to adopt the technology. The USS Blueback was the last diesel-electric submarine in the US Navy's fleet. For years it worked as aggressor boat, but by 1990 the Navy had moved on to an all nuclear submarine force. Blueback was featured in Hunt for the Red October and now resides at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry: As we have discussed before, there is every reason for the US Navy to invest in diesel-electric submarines now that they have evolved so much over the last three decades. For so many missions, a nuclear submarine is not needed, and their massive infrastructure needs and security concerns makes forward basing them in foreign countries impossible. But now that AIP may not even be needed, the Navy could solve its attack submarine capacity woes by adopting Japan’s technology and building their own version of the advanced Soryu class under license. This would provide the highest-tech solution at the lowest possible cost. Roughly four Soryu class boats could be bought for the price of a single Virginia class SSN today. If a Soryu derivative were put into wider serial production, their price would drop event further. Sadly, the politics and special interests behind naval shipbuilding in the US, and especially submarine building, along with the Navy’s blind unwillingness to deviate from its nuclear only submarine strategy, makes such a logical proposition all but impossible to realize. Regardless of the US Navy’s elitist obsession with keeping an all nuclear submarine force, it will be interesting to watch Japan as they move forward with fielding their first lithium-ion powered diesel-electric attack submarine. And don’t expect them to be shy about possessing such a capability. Once they have found the technology to be stable they will likely show it off in an attempt to offset their investment with export sales. This article was originally published on TheDrive.com
News Article | October 28, 2016
Soaring mercury, sinking cities, mass extinctions. It is easy to catastrophise climate change: faced with the sheer enormity of the climate challenge, people can tend towards despair and nihilism. For others, its seeming distance (both chronologically and, for many of us in the global north in particular, geographically) can seduce us with the easy denial that it is someone else’s problem to fix. The technology and resources to move towards a post-carbon society are essentially all there. What we lack is a broad, civic movement to get behind the urgency – and significant opportunities – of this transition. So rather than looking darkly into a dystopian future in which we are passive victims, it is vital to make climate change relevant in the here and now – the air we breathe, the food we eat, the way we travel. Human-scale things we have agency to change. We need to find new ways to narrate and envision a fairer, cleaner future in which we can actively participate. This year’s annual Lovelock Commission Cloud Crash by artist duo HeHe, a collaboration of Cape Farewell, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Manchester, is an example of how art can enable major public engagement in what former chief scientific advisor Sir David King posits as ‘the biggest challenge of all time’. The Lovelock Commission takes inspiration from pioneering climate scientist James Lovelock’s Gaia Theory, which posits the earth as a single self-regulating organism – and this year the commission focuses on atmospherics - namely, man-made emissions. The headline event for this year’s Manchester Science Festival, Cloud Crash seeks to make pollution – and its component part, climate change – visible, and asks some uncomfortable questions of society. The role of the scientist and that of the artist is to make the invisible visible. Gone are the pea soupers that choked London 60 years ago. Today’s pollution is largely invisible to the naked eye – and all the more insidious for it. A recent study by King’s College London revealed that 9,500 Londoners die each year due to long-term exposure to air pollution, and that levels of pollution in major cities including London, Leeds and Birmingham will exceed legal limits until at least 2030. WHO estimate exposure to the particulate matter - small particulate matter of 10 microns or less in diameter (PM10)- caused 3 million premature deaths worldwide per year in 2012 through cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers. This invisible menace needs to be brought into the light so that we can understand what we are fighting. With Cloud Crash HeHe took as point of departure the air quality forecast maps produced by the (NERC funded) National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) – that show, in hauntingly beautiful detail, levels of ozone, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide as it sweeps across the UK. What they have produced are three new pieces placed in-situ across the MSI site. In Airbag an ordinary car has crashed against a steel post in the courtyard. In a playful reversal of the polluting emissions of everyday cars (one of the largest contributors to lethal nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter emissions), this car has become a suspended cloud chamber, insulating a floating microclimate from the outside world. It is an object of reflection and provocation – as HeHe explain ‘there is a certain irony in admiring the beauty of such a fragile atmosphere, held inside an object which is so violently transforming our own unprotected airspace.’ Diamonds in the Sky is an immersive audio-visual experience based in the Air and Space Hall, that imagines a swarming cloud of pollution particles slamming into the side of Beetham Tower – Manchester’s landmark skyscraper which has come to symbolise the post-industrial reinvention of the city. Expanding on pollution forecast maps, this video piece highlights invisible ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter using vivid saturation colour – each particle per million represented by a pixel. Finally, Burnout asks difficult questions of the arts industry and its role in climate change. A scale-model of the Tate Modern belches out vapour clouds – as if it is simultaneously an art museum and an active energy producer. The building’s original incarnation was Bankside, London’s major fossil-fuel power station from 1952 to 1981, whereas today Tate Modern is often referred to as an ‘art powerhouse’. By so doing, Burnout confronts both the building’s past and the arts sector’s modern day collusion with the fossil industry. Despite a recent decision from Tate to drop BP sponsorship after 26 years, the sector is still overshadowed by certain partnerships. For instance, what many pressure groups such as BP or Not BP call the ‘controversial and ironic’ sponsorship of ‘Sunken Cities’ exhibition by BP (a show rebranded as ‘Sinking Cities – Flooding our World’ by Greenpeace in a publicity stunt back in May) Above and beyond, Cloud Crash explores a key issue – that to consume and create culture of all kinds is also to consume energy, however it may be sanitized. Brilliant organisations such as Julie’s Bicycles are doing vital work in helping the arts sector reduce their own environmental impacts. Without this, even the most successful public engagement activity and artworks relating to climate change could prove something of a Phyrric victory. Artists and scientists are natural collaborators, both are explorers and storytellers, seeking out new ways of understanding, communicating (and indeed, changing) the world around them. So when it comes to the dry (or simply terrifying) language of climate science, the marriage of the two can be particularly fruitful. Artists can respond to environmental data in work that provokes real engagement. By communicating these issues in lateral, innovative ways, by using humour and humanity, these sorts of works can reach us on a more animal, cellular, level – and therefore, hopefully, demand our response. It is important to remember that the dialogue between artists with scientists is two-way. The innate creativity of artists can also inform the work of scientists. NERC’s recent call for public engagement pilot activity celebrates this dialogue, as they seek to support new work that engages members of the UK public with relevant contemporary issues of environmental science whilst also building engagement capacity in the environmental science research community - in particular providing opportunities for early career researchers and PhD students to develop skills in they way they approach, and present, their own research. The arts can come to the service of sciences as much as the other way round. When it comes to climate science it is all about finding the right language and tone for it - reframing it as an opportunity not sacrifice, making tangible the intangible and giving agency where once there was apathy. Above all, we need to make climate change relatable to us all – and in this there is a great deal more work to do. It is vital that climate-focused arts reach as wide and varied an audience as possible. Diversity is critically important in the climate battle, enabling the society-wide engagement it demands. Lucy Wood is an arts producer with a focus on climate change, food systems and migration. She is Director of international environmental arts charity Cape Farewell. She is on twitter as @lucywoodie. Cloud Crash runs across the MSI site from 20 October 2016 – 4 February 2017. Post amended at 6.23pm on 31st October to correct two minor typographical errors.
News Article | November 8, 2016
Still Have Leftover Halloween Candy? Use It For Science! Halloween has come and gone, but piles of candy remain. You have two options: Eat it all and risk a serious sugar coma, or get seriously creative with some candy-themed science. We asked employees at various science museums what experiments they like to do with leftover candy. Get crackin'. "Your sense of taste is actually really limited," explains Julie Yu, senior scientist and director of the Teacher Institute at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. A lot of what we perceive as flavor comes from smell, because our tongue can only taste a few things: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and savory (and fat). You can test this by plugging your nose, putting candy in your mouth, and unplugging your nose. Then, see if the flavor changes. You can test foods for starch using ingredients from a drug store, according to Debra Bailey, co-coordinator of the Micro World Investigate Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Just crush up a candy and mix it into water. Then, add a few drops of the solution into a cup of iodine (yes, the antiseptic). If it changes from amber to black, you've got starch! Bailey says you can also test for Vitamin C, glucose, and proteins with paper indicator strips for sale on Amazon. Ever wonder how many different dyes are used to color Skittles? Well, OK, me neither. But now I really want to know, and Kelly Thornton, youth and family programs manager at the Pacific Science Center, says it's not too hard to find out. You need candy, a coffee filter, a pencil, aluminum foil, salt, water, toothpicks and cups. The salty water will pull the dye up the paper with capillary action. Different dye molecules will move different distances, so the colors will separate. If multiple dyes color one Skittle (or M&M, or Canadian Smartie), you'll know! Rebecca Reilly likes to mutilate her candy: "Cut it up, melt it, dissolve it, test the acidity ... things like that." She's the food science coordinator at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and her favorite candy experiments are open-ended ones. "One great thing about candy is it's full of things you wouldn't expect, which makes it great for science experiments! It reacts in really strange ways," she says. Reilly shared some of her favorite things to do with candy, and a bit about what those things can teach you: Have you ever noticed that chocolate sprinkles look like mouse poop? Well, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has. Megan Chesser, a teacher education specialist, likes to hide animal scat (yes, poop) in schoolyards. She leads teachers on a scavenger hunt, and dares them to make observations about the scat. They break it open to see what's inside and smell it. "Finally, I say, 'You know what's a great way to tell what this is made of? Eating it.' And then I pop it into my mouth," says Chesser. The secret is, it's chocolate, mashed up to look like it came from a raccoon. Chesser takes the teachers back to a classroom to make edible scat of their own. They mold tootsie rolls into different shapes for different animals. To make omnivore poop, like a bear has, she mixes in nuts and berries. For bird and reptile scat, Chesser suggests rolling tootsie rolls in powdered sugar to get that authentic patina. For carnivores, add some shredded wheat for hair. Chesser says it's a great way to get kids thinking about food webs. Some candies don't need much work. Hershey's Kisses look like elk scat, and if you chop up chocolate sprinkles it looks like cockroach poop (or "frass," which Chesser delightedly informed me is the technical name for arthropod poop.) For larger animals, "leftover brownies from a Halloween party are great to mold into tubular scat," says Chesser. "A box of brownie mix goes a long way."
News Article | February 21, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, in partnership with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), is helping residents and visitors prepare for this summer's total solar eclipse – the first in the continental U.S. since 19...
Aaron Price C.,Museum of Science and Industry |
Kares F.,Museum of Science and Industry |
Segovia G.,Museum of Science and Industry
Proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS | Year: 2016
We report findings from a retrospective, longitudinal study of the STEM career and educational choices of alumni of an urban, museum-based OST program. Surveys were sent to 170 alumni and 28 were interviewed. Results were analyzed through a hybridity framework around how they remembered the program compared to experiences at home, in formal school and with their social circles. Findings include a major increase in female STEM career interest while in the program, compared to their male peers. This increase was related to how they perceived staff and the formality of the program. There was no relationship with race or SES. © ISLS.
Polsgrove T.,NASA |
Jones D.,NASA |
Sadowski-Fugitt L.,Museum of Science and Industry |
Kowrach N.,Museum of Science and Industry
AIAA SPACE Conference and Exposition 2012 | Year: 2012
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has formulated an innovative approach to inspiring the next generation to pursue STEM education. Middle school students in Chicago and at nearby Challenger Learning Centers work in teams to design a mission to Mars. Each mission includes real time access to NASA experts through partnerships with Marshall Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Interactive videoconferencing connects students at the museum with students at a Challenger Learning Center and with NASA experts. This paper describes the approach, the results from the program's first year, and future opportunities for nationwide expansion.
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 531.12K | Year: 2015
Approximately 8.4 million children in the United States participate annually in out-of-school time (OST) programs with a science component. These programs have been shown to have a wide range of impacts on scientific literacy, school achievement, and career interest. Because such programs take place outside of home and school, they offer participants learning flexibility and a sense of agency that otherwise do not exist in traditional science learning contexts. However, current research on OST is largely limited to evaluation-level data that has not been synthesized, making it difficult to draw definite conclusions. As seen in other fields, a larger evidence base is needed for the OST field to grow or else non-evidence-based policies will be imposed upon the field by outside forces. The project team will conduct an experimental, longitudinal research project to address these issues. This Research-in-Service to Practice project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments.
The study uses a sophisticated design with a wide variety of measures to follow three cohorts of adolescent youth (~200) over a 4-year period to address the primary research question: How does participation of adolescent youth from traditionally underrepresented groups in a well-established, out-of-school time science program affect their career choices and attitudes towards science as they mature into early adulthood? While each measure is rooted in established literature and methodology, putting it all together using a comprehensive, complementary approach has not yet been done in the OST field. The research studies will be looking at a number of variables in order to measure program impact including: demographic and experiential background of program participants, STEM attitudes, career interest/choices, scientific engagement, and participation. Data will be collected via survey, observation, interviews, and document review. The program practitioners will contribute diary and field note data to the study.
This project will provide STEM education practitioners with the evidence-based information they need to develop better programs for underrepresented minority (URM) youth so program and policy decisions are not made in a vacuum. Operationally, findings will have an impact on OST and URM science education researchers by generating new research methodology and techniques. Tactically, it will benefit greater URM communities by investigating how OST programs can support science learning and scientific interest among their adolescent youth. Strategically, the study impacts the nation by providing evidence about the validity of OST programs as a critical partner to address the issue of URM involvement in the STEM workforce. Also, the corpus of raw data will be made public, providing a large and varied data set for others to explore. This research is being conducted by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
News Article | October 28, 2016
PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The James Beard Public Market, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and public-private partnership developing a permanent year-round public market, has accepted an invitation from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to participate in the Master Planning for OMSI’s expanded campus, which is located within Portland’s emerging Innovation Quadrant. OMSI recently launched a process to create a master development plan for the museum’s 18-acre waterfront pro